“That’s ridiculous,” said Christie. “I mean, that’s ridiculous. I don’t know what the basis for that is.” [ABC News]
GOVERNOR CHRIS Christie is wrong. What’s worse is that he appears to be in denial, too. His weight is an issue when considering him for the presidency and voters are right to consider it as one. They can also choose to ignore it, but the discussion is important.
As someone who sees real strength in Christie’s blunt political style, even if we differ on political solutions, I find it even more troubling that he won’t admit what every doctor would say is a serious health issue he’s facing. Governor Christie is obese by any medical standard, with the stressors of the presidency taxing on the healthiest individual, let alone someone who is overweight by 20-50 pounds, maybe more. He also is asthmatic.
No one expects a politician to be as thin as President Obama, former presidents Clinton, Bush and Carter. But what we know about obesity and longevity, as well as how stress impacts our health in the best of situations, is a real issue for Chris Christie.
Being governor of New Jersey isn’t close to what being the leader of the free world is and the demands heaped on mind and body. The message Chris Christie sends to children, while America continues fighting an obesity explosion in this country, is negative in the extreme.
John McCain, who was a cancer survivor and a former POW, picking Sarah Palin didn’t assuage anyone that she was ready to take over, which rightly hovered over the possibility of a McCain presidency from the beginning of his nomination.
Governor Christie would have to not only convince Americans he could be a good president, but also is healthy enough as an obese middle aged man to take on the rigors of continual international travel and the pressures of the job, while nominating a vice president who people could see taking over. That’s always the place of the vice president, but when the person at the top of the ticket has obvious health issues it becomes an albatross in the modern media era.
This is not the age of F.D.R. or John F. Kennedy, even Ronald Reagan, when the press was complicit in keeping health secrets from the American voter.
When looking at Jeb Bush as an obvious challenger in 2016, as well as others like Marco Rubio, Governor Christie’s obesity pulls his lofty expectations down to earth.