Why Romney Didn’t Choose Christie for V.P.

"Potential land mines."

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John Heilemann and Mark Halperin–the graybeards of who’s up, who’s down beltway journalism–are out with Double Down: Game Change 2012, the sequel to…Game Change. The first book was about the 2008 election; this one is about the 2012 election. Anyways, two of the biggest tidbits being reported are this: Obama was very close to replacing Biden with Hillary, and Mitt rejected Christie as V.P. because of questions about his personal background.

First, about Christie:

Mr. Romney included the blunt-talking governor on his vice-presidential shortlist, crossed him off, reconsidered choosing him and then ultimately decided that he could not pick Mr. Christie. Mr. Romney made the decision not only because of the fund-raising restrictions Mr. Christie would face as the governor of New Jersey, but also because Mr. Christie did not offer the same amount of information to Mr. Romney’s team of vetters as the other potential vice-presidential picks.

What, he’s supposed to provide information about his own skeletons? Fall on his own sword? Come on Romneyteam, you gotta dig! Anyways:

According to a memo on Mr. Christie from the vetting team, it had unanswered questions on a defamation lawsuit against the governor from earlier in his political career, on a Securities and Exchange Commission settlement involving Mr. Christie’s brother, on names and documentation of his household help, on information from his time as a securities industry lobbyist, and on his medical history. “The dossier on the Garden State governor’s background was littered with potential land mines,” the authors write.

Christie, through a former Romney spokesperson, tried to throw some cold water on the scoop:

“Governor Christie complied fully with the Romney campaign’s request for documents in a timely manner, including a complete medical report from his internist and cardiologist.”

Ok. Now that you mention it, though, can we see that complete medical report? Elsewhere, there was also the Biden/Hillary revelation.

President Obama’s top aides secretly considered replacing Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. with Hillary Rodham Clinton on the 2012 ticket, undertaking extensive focus-group sessions and polling in late 2011 when Mr. Obama’s re-election outlook appeared uncertain.

They decided it wouldn’t make any difference, ultimately. But still, poor Joe.

[NY Times]