Chris Christie Riding Hurricane Approval Into Reelection Bid

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Photo: Jeff Zelevansky/2011 Getty Images

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is celebrating a new poll that puts his post-Sandy approval rating at 77 percent by agreeing that he might as well run for a second term next year. "The public needs to know that I'm in this for the long haul, that the person who has helped to lead them through the initial crisis wants to help lead them through the rebuilding and restoration of our state," he said today after filing the paperwork required to open a campaign office, hire staffers, and raise money. "I have a job to finish that six weeks ago I never anticipated having."

Christie's highest-profile potential challenger, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, has been busy handling the hurricane aftermath himself, and told New York this month, "I'm going to go into a state of cryogenic sleep, then try to wake up, take a deep breath, and begin to evaluate reelection, which is still a real possibility."

"It would be wrong for me to leave now," said Christie. "I don't want to leave now. We have a job to do. That job won't be finished by next year." But by 2016? Probably.