Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Oct. 4, 2011.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Oct. 4, 2011. Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
At least three thoughts about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's announcement Tuesday that he's really, absolutely and definitely not running for president.
One, Christie reconsidered his earlier decision not to run for president with much more seriousness than was readily apparent from watching him. He clearly was under such intense pressure from people he respected to change his mind that in recent weeks he reopened the door to consider a run only to shut it again tightly Monday evening.
Two, if he wants to be re-elected governor in 2013, his strong expression of commitment to the Garden State can only help him. New Jerseyans are accustomed to having their state be the butt of jokes, less the object of a national political star's affection.
But on Tuesday he asked: "How could I be regretful being governor of the state of New Jersey?" Voters may repay that kind of commitment to the state with an extended stay for him and his family at Drumthwacket, the gubernatorial mansion.
Three, he appears to believe that leaders are born, not made. He said:
"More than anything else in these jobs what I have learned is there is no substitute for knowing how to lead. Everything else you can be taught. You can't be taught how to lead and how to make decisions. And unfortunately, even though there are areas, as you know, that I support this president in, he's failed the American people because he's failed that absolute test to be able to lead and decide. And he hasn't done that."
Obviously, you don't have to look all that hard to find plenty of evidence that contradicts Christie on whether leadership can be taught or not. The U.S. military obviously believes it can teach leadership and decision-making. From the enlisted ranks to the military academies, that's much of what they do.
Business schools also teach leadership skills as do a range of other organizations.
If Christie is right and leadership can't be taught, then there are obviously many people wasting their time and money.
Maybe he really meant that some people have the temperament for leadership and others don't. But that's different than saying leadership and decision-making can't be taught.