Green Room

Maybe it’s time for a BIG presidency

posted at 9:07 am on September 30, 2011 by

I first caught wind of this latest round of political pablum at Outside the Beltway, pointing to the distinguished news giants at ABC asking what must surely be the crucial question of the day. Is Chris Christie too fat to be president?

Nor is Christie just “slightly overweight.” So there is no delicate way to ask this: Is Chris Christie too fat to win?

Politics, after all, is a business of image and first-impressions — and study after study shows that people judge the hefty more harshly than they judge those who are thin.

That might be what led Wapo columnist Eugene Robinson to unload with one of the most insulting and intellectually bereft sermons in recent memory.

Whether or not he lets himself be persuaded to run for president, Chris Christie needs to find some way to lose weight. Like everyone else, elected officials perform best when they are in optimal health. Christie obviously is not.

You could argue that this is none of my business, but I disagree. Christie’s problem with weight ceased being a private matter when he stepped into the public arena — and it’s not something you can fail to notice. Obesity is a national epidemic whose costs are measured not just in dollars and cents but also in lives. Christie’s weight is as legitimate an issue as the smoking habit that President Obama says he has finally kicked…

Politically, I disagree with Christie on almost everything. I’ll have plenty of opportunities to tell him why. Today, I’d just like to offer him a bit of unsolicited, nonpartisan, sincere advice: Eat a salad and take a walk.

We shall leave aside for the moment the fact that Robinson hasn’t always been exactly svelte himself. And I’m not going to engage in another Groundhog Day experiment in debating whether or not the Jersey Governor is running. (For the record, I doubt it.) But this does bring up a larger question, if you’ll pardon the pun.

Have we really reached the point where even a moderately hefty person should be disqualified from seeking the presidency? Are we to forever be restricted to candidates who either look like professional athletes or anorexic Hollywood stars and starlets? I say it’s time to nip this thing in the plump little bud. And I get what Doug was saying when he talked about the reality of presidential candidates suffering if they aren’t telegenic enough, but there have to be some limits on this. Or at least I hope so.

Yes, Chris Christie is a large man. My mom would call him big boned. He even admits it himself, as quoted in the article. “I weigh too much because I eat too much, and I eat some bad things, too.”

Welcome to the America that the rest of us live in. And I say this as somebody who is packing around roughly 200 pounds on a frame which the geniuses at the Body Mass Index center assure me shouldn’t hold more than 172. Lots of us aren’t in the ideal shape, and lots of us like to eat. And, yes, we also like to eat good tasting things sometimes which we are told aren’t good for us.

Maybe Christie should rework an originally failed idea from Christine O’Donnell and start a new advertising campaign. “I’m not a big fat pig. I’m you.”

Telegenics is one thing, but I also know that people are drawn to candidates they can relate to. And I’m sure that many of us can relate to Chris Christie’s issues with juicy steaks and Krispy Kreme Donuts. Maybe… just maybe.. it’s time we had a president who fits more in the mold of the rest of us.

In this hypothetical world of a Christie presidency, as one friend pointed out on Twitter yesterday, we could retread some old campaign slogans. “A deep fried turkey in every pot!”

Secretary of Health and Human Services? Anthony Bourdaine. The Department of Transportation is downsized – to the delight of most conservatives – and replaced by the Department of Providing Maps to the Best Surf and Turf or Burgers. (OK… that acronym is rather unwieldy so we’ll probably have to work on the name a bit.)

At Easter time, when the first family invites children from around the nation for an egg roll on the East Lawn, they could serve actual egg rolls. (With BACON.) And when the president enters the chambers to address Congress we can do away with that tedious old Hail to the Chief routine and, instead, play the Beer Barrel Polka. The possibilities are endless.

I don’t think we need Eugene Robinson telling Christie to “eat a salad and take a walk.” I’m sure I could extend my own life span significantly if I shifted to an exclusive diet of carrot juice, white rice and lettuce. But even if it meant I would live to be 100, who in their right minds wants to spend a hundred years eating that? I’d sooner do fifteen years in Gitmo, hoping to live long enough to be released and hit a McDonalds at the airport on the way home.

Chris Christie is living large for however long he has on this Earth. You go, Governor. I’ll meet you at the buffet.

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Eugene, it’s none of your freakin’ business how much Christie weighs. Take care of yourself and don’t worry about how much other people weigh. MYOB.

Kissmygrits on September 30, 2011 at 9:37 AM

White rice? That is not allowed under the Obama regime. The government mandates that your diet include only brown rice or wild (native) rice. These rice are healthier, better for the environment (less processing required), and more politically correct (celebrate diversity!).

AZCoyote on September 30, 2011 at 11:39 AM

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