A team of heavy-hitting, Iowa Republicans is meeting with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Tuesday in a reported effort to get the in-your-face party favorite to run for president. But if you take Christie at his strong words, for instance that suicide might be the only way to convince people he's not interested , then why the political trek to New Jersey?
"Some of it is ego on both sides," says David Yepsen, Iowa political guru and current director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. "This isn't the first time Iowans have gone and called on a candidate and encouraged them to run... Everybody's got an ego. They like people talking about them."
What Iowans don't like is the perceived lack of attention they've been getting this time around. Republican Gov. Terry Branstad earlier this month openly called for potential candidates to make Iowa more of a priority, calling the first-in-the-nation caucuses "wide open."
While some potential nominees have embraced the traditional importance of the state -- like Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Sen. Rick Santorum and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty - others have signaled intent to bypass the state altogether. Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, both Mormons, are spending more time, money and effort in fellow early state, New Hampshire.
When asked about the impending meeting with representatives of the Iowa Republican Party, Christie political adviser Mike DuHaime reiterated to Fox News that the governor in no way has changed his mind about running. "[J]ust because he's not running, doesn't mean he doesn't want to perhaps eventually have some influence over the nominating process," DuHaime said.
As for suggestions that part of the Republican base is unhappy with current contenders, DuHaime brushes it off. "They have not said anything negative about the field, but rather positive things about Governor Christie's record and leadership."
Yepsen, who had a 34-year career as lead political reporter at one of Iowa's biggest newspapers, the Des Moines Register, has spoken with state Republicans who are, in fact, unhappy with the current candidates. But he doesn't think Christie will run - and says it's smart.
"The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Candidates always look better before they get in the race... Christie is smart enough to recognize that."
"He's doing great where he is," Yepsen continues. "He's getting all this attention, and he's young enough to run some day. I think he's being very smart."
But just because some people believe Christie will stay true to his word, doesn't mean the talk will stop.
"They'll be talking about it up until the caucuses start, but at some point you have to hold the election with the candidates that are in the race."
Meredith Orban contributed to this report