One of the perks of office for the newly-elected Republican governor, Christopher Christie, will be the ability to deliver the state GOP establishment for the 2012 presidential candidate of his choice. Expect most of the state's Republican County Chairmen, fundraisers, legislators and key local officials to follow Christie's lead.
Unless the Legislature changes the law, the New Jersey presidential primary is scheduled for February 7, 2012. Democrats are likely to have an incumbent running without significant opposition, and the GOP primary will be less competitive if Christie picks a horse in that race.
New Jersey Governors have a history of delivering most party endorsements to one presidential candidate during the nomination process: Jon Corzine for Hillary Clinton in 2008, James E. McGreevey for Howard Dean in 2004, and Christine Todd Whitman for George W. Bush in 2000 and for Bob Dole in 1996.
It's too early to predict where Christie will be in the presidential race, although some Republicans close to the governor-elect say that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney could be his top choice.