I don't think any politicians would want the perilous choice that New Jersey Gov. Chris Chris Christie faced in the wake of this week's death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg. Christie had not one but two difficult decisions: When to call a special election to replace Lautenberg, and who to appoint as an interim senator between now and the election. Although he still hasn't appointed rocker Bruce Springsteen anyone yet, he did reveal today his plan for the election. And it's a doozy.

The scheme to hold a separate special election this October, after party primaries in August, allows Christie to accomplish more positive things than I would have thought possible. On the surface, every politician wants to be able to publicly proclaim that what he did was the most democratic (with a small "d") choice for the most people, and by letting people vote on the Senate seat as early as possible (most predicted the vote wouldn't be until November 2013 or maybe even November 2014) he can plausibly claim that's what he did. Indeed, he stated at today's announcement: ""The process to fill this United States Senate seat must allow the people to have a voice." That may be contrived rhetoric on Christie's part, but I think it will resonate with New Jersey's largest voting bloc, independents.

Indeed, the political insiders in both parties don't like Christie's plan, which I think was exactly what he was going for. What's the practical impact? I think you can spin it a lot of ways -- some have said that the compressed time frame will help whatever Republican Christie appoints for the next four months. I don't think so, I think this special election scheme is really going to help the best-known person who wants the job -- and that is a Democrat, Newark mayor Cory Booker.

And I kind of think Christie wants Booker to get the job. Why would he want a liberal Democrat (who's not liberal at all, and pals around with the same billionaire hedge fund and Facebook cronies)? I'm not an expert on politics on the other side of the Delaware River, but my a sense is that backroom deal-making matters a lot more in the Garden State than what motivates most of us who hang out here at Attytood, which is partisan ideology. Christie needs Democrats in Trenton if he wants to get things done, and he needs to get things done if there's any political life after Thornwhacket or Drumthwacket or whatever the hell they call that place, over in that strange, strange state.

Of course, he could have just appointed Booker now -- but why wave a red flag in front of GOP primary voters if he still harbors dreams of running in 2016, especially when he can rig things so that Booker will win it on his own. And as many have noted, he'd rather have Booker win in October than overshadow his re-election in November. He also could have done what the GOP bosses wanted -- which was to appoint a Republican and then not have the election until 17 months from now, in November 2014. But a) the 2014 election may not have held up in court and b) I don't Christie really wanted someone filibustering President Obama for a year and a half, not while Obama remains popular in New Jersey.

But here's another prediction, and it's a sad one for those of us fantasizing about Sen. Springsteen (which would raise the number of senators who care about poverty to, um, 1): I think he'll pick a conservative Republican as interim senator for the next five months, and campaign for him or her in the fall. Remember a) a more conservative foe will help Booker, not hurt him and b) presidential candidate Christie can then claim -- plausibly, if not truthfully -- that he did everything for the cause.

None of this will really help or hurt Christie's presidential candidacy, because I'm fairly certain that there's already no way Christie can ever be elected president. Once he embraced Obama during Superstorm Sandy, there was absolutely nothing -- NOTHING -- that Christie could do to woo back the kingmaker of the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh, or the mouth-breathing Obama-hating voters in the Deep South who have an outsized influence in GOP affairs. And the independent path is even less plausible, since no independent has even come close to winning and Christie has alienated too many conservatives (see above) and too many liberals with his teacher-bullying and his flip flops on their issues like climate change.

So Christie played the cards he was dealt this week. It was good government, and good New Jersey politics. It was shrewd. It just won't get him to the White House.