If New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is going to be a real player in the 2016 GOP race for the presidential nomination then this weekend in the Sunshine State is going to be a huge indicator. He is supposed to be in the state helping out his friend Gov. Rick Scott raise money for his re-election campaign. Truth be told when it comes to their political philosophies the two men aren’t really on the sam page but that really does not matter.
Christie is headed to Florida for a series of events with some of the GOP’s deepest pockets — three Saturday fundraisers and a Sunday dinner with major donors from around the country.
The weekend could provide the first sign of whether Christie will be able to maintain his superstar status among the rich Republicans who have backed him in the past and figure to play an outsize role in deciding the party’s 2016 nominee. It won’t be easy.
In an interview with POLITICO media mogal Stan Hubbard he knows how important this trip to Florida is Christie.
“He has got a big problem, because perception is everything — perception is reality,” said Hubbard, a billionaire Minnesota media mogul who is flying in for Sunday’s event. “I’m sure he’s an honorable, decent guy, but I wonder how the hell did he let this happen. I mean, who did he hire? What kind of idiot? It’s just ridiculous. How stupid.”
The timing is critical for Christie. Building a big-money network is a prerequisite to mounting a viable presidential campaign, and every serious 2016 candidate is expected to have the backing of one or more super PACs, which can accept unlimited checks to run shadow campaigns boosting their preferred candidate and ripping rivals. MORE..