Christie — if he wants to run for president — should lose 100 pounds. (Easier said than done, I know.) Many Americans are biased against the obese — and expect their politicians and celebrities to cut dashing figures. This is not fair, but it is true. Christie’s odds of becoming president will greatly increase with every pound he sheds.

And then there’s Marco Rubio’s receding hairline. There’s nothing uncommon about this. Aside from Paul Ryan, few of us have the hairline we once did. But one suspects this could hit Rubio especially hard, since at least some of his appeal is based on image.

Rubio represents the hopes and dreams of a new generation of leaders. He is handsome, young, and Latino. He physically embodies the desire for a new, 21st century brand of conservatism.

This is also why Rubio has to run for president in 2016 — and not a minute later. Yes, he’s smart and eloquent, to be sure. But would a balding Marco Rubio — one who has been in the Senate for a dozen years — be such a compelling national candidate?