Now that the NY Times has wondered if NJ Governor Jon Corzine's re-election campaign is making a big (HA!) deal about Republican challenger Chris Christie's weight, the belt buckle has been loosened for Christie to use it against Corzine. The former U.S. Attorney said during a speech, "As my running mate very well said [during a debate], the cat is out of the bag on that one. I've been in the public eye now for eight years, at various sizes. Up 30 or 40, down 30 or 40, it's kind of been the way it's gone. And I don't think all of you are blind."
Corzine's "If" ad has a voiceover wondering if Christie "threw his weight around" to avoid traffic tickets (he didn't get one in an accident where a motorcyclist later died)—all while showing Christie in slow-mo. Christie made fun of Corzine's campaign, "Could you imagine what the discussion was around the Corzine conference table when they came up with that one? The real shocking part is that someone who tries to call himself a leader sat at the front of the table and said, 'Green light that baby, let's go.'"
Political watchers are split on whether Christie's embrace of the "issue" is worth it: Seton Hall political scientist Joseph Marbach suggests that it could "really disarm some of these attacks that have been implicitly leveled against him," while the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics' Ben Dworkin said he's wasting his time not talking about "real" issues. For his part, Corzine continued to deny that his goal was to draw attention to Christie's weight, telling the Star-Ledger's editorial board, "I'm not making fun. What we did was talk to a legitimate issue." (When are seat belts entering the debate!?!?)