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Chris Christie’s Weight Is a Presidential Health Issue

Official White House photo of Pres Obama & Gov Christie on Marine One during aerial storm tour. (By Pete Sousa, WH Photographer).

“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.

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10 Responses to Chris Christie’s Weight Is a Presidential Health Issue

  1. mjsmith December 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    Taylor – I suggest you read this

    What is weight discrimination?

    Discrimination is defined as unfair difference in treatment made between people because of specific characteristics. It is based on prejudice, which is defined as preconceived opinion or judgment without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge. In its extreme, discrimination is called bigotry, which is defined as obstinate and unreasoning attachment to one’s own opinions, with intolerance to any opposing views. When the specific characteristic is body size and weight, that is weight discrimination, weight prejudice, or weight bigotry.

  2. Taylor Marsh December 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    Nonsense. Cultural political correctness is a scourge.

    I couldn’t care less about Governor Christies’s weight personally, but voters have every right to discuss his obesity as far as his health is concerned in conjunction with the presidency. If voters choose to ignore it, that’s fine and their choice.

    It’s an issue if Christie wants to take over the most highly stressed, rigorous job in the modern world, which obesity makes harder. Obesity’s impact on the body, mind and health has been *medically proven* and is a scientific fact.

    If it wasn’t important health practitioners across this country wouldn’t be working to fight childhood obesity.

  3. Jane Austen December 13, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    Christie’s weight would be a major concern for me. Combine his obesity, asthma and whatever other health issues (high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, etc) associated with obesity he might have and add to that the stress of the presidency and you have a formula for disaster. I’ve seen too many obese people suffer the consequences of their weight and it’s not a pretty sight. I actually like the guy with his “tell it like it is” style. I don’t agree with him on many issues but I think he might be a fresh face for the GOP but his weight would have me worried. Please do not take this as discrimination against those over weight. It isn’t. I was a health care provider for years and saw the consequences of obesity.

    • Taylor Marsh December 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

      Absolutely correct and thanks for offering your perspective, which is also informed.

      I agree with you on Christie’s style.

  4. Cujo359 December 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    “let alone someone who is overweight by 20-50 pounds”

    Going by that picture, 50 pounds is the low end.

    Christie’s a Type A personality, and someone who doesn’t seem to be all that interested in contrary opinions. That’s going to make any realization on his part more unlikely, I think. Christie may solve his rivals’ problems for them. I doubt he’d survive a full presidential campaign, even though he’s fairly young.

    • Taylor Marsh December 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

      Yeah, I’d say I’m on the low end, too, though photos add pounds. ;-)

      You also may be right on his personality being a double-edged sword; the things I like about him also behind his Achilles’ heel.

      • Cujo359 December 13, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

        That photo would have to be adding stones, in the old English sense of the word, for that not to be the low end…

  5. mjsmith December 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    President Taft was stuck in the White House bathtub. He later went on to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

    People should never be discriminated against because of their size.

  6. secularhumanizinevoluter December 13, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    Christie is a thug and a bully. He is also corrupt and completely willing to use his position for personal gain and or to shirk responsibility for criminal behaviors and acts. And much like the bloated sack of pus limpwithnoballs when one comes from the holier then thou bunch of hypocrites here after refered to as the repugnantklan/teabagger/UBERChristofascists party just a tad of self control as far as stuffing your own face would seem in order. I HOPE they pick Christie…and santorum as his running…or waddling mate.

  7. TPAZ December 13, 2012 at 10:54 pm #

    Leave the fat bastard alone; I giggle, too.

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