With rumors of a possible presidential run at full boil (speaking at the Reagan Library helps with that), NJ Governor Chris Christie is reveling in the spotlight. But it's also brought a spotlight to Christie's weight: Yesterday, ABC News pondered whether Christie was too fat to become president and now various opinion columnists are wondering about his husky, husky frame. The Washington Post's Pulitzer-swinning columnist Eugene Robinson writes, "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."
Robinson looks at the obesity epidemic and Christie's talk about his weight ("I weigh too much because I eat too much") and ends with, "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."
Over at Bloomberg View, Michael Kinsley is unsparing, "Look, I’m sorry, but New Jersey Governor Chris Christie cannot be president: He is just too fat. Maybe, if he runs for president and we get to know him, we will overlook this awkward issue because we are so impressed with the way he stands up to teachers’ unions. But we shouldn’t overlook it -- unless he goes on a diet and shows he can stick to it."
Controlling what you eat and how much is not easy, and it’s harder for some people than for others. But it’s not as difficult as curing a chemical addiction. With a determined, disciplined effort, Christie could thin down, and he should -- because the obesity epidemic is real and dangerous. And the president inevitably sets an example.
Unfortunately, the symbolism of Christie’s weight problem goes way past the issue of obesity itself. It is just a too- perfect symbol of our country at the moment, with appetites out of control and discipline near zilch. And it’s not just symbolism. We don’t yet know much about Chris Christie. He certainly makes all the right noises about fiscal discipline and seems to have done well so far as governor of New Jersey. Perhaps Christie is the one to help us get our national appetites under control. But it would help if he got his own under control first.
However, Robinson's WaPo colleague Ezra Klein writes, "Obesity truly is a national health problem. But to address it correctly, we’re going to have to get past the outdated belief that it’s all about discipline or the assumption that the obese are not capable of carrying out demanding jobs. Christie’s weight might actually help us do that. If so, then perhaps the governor’s girth, far from disqualifying from the presidency, is a reason to support his candidacy."
Daily News guest contributor David Swerdlick loves Christie's size, "For every person who's put off by Christie's shtick, there are probably two more who wish that they could be a little more like him on their job. He's a tough guy who doesn't take crap (or at least wants you to think he won't) from anyone. Being big and burly is part of that persona. If Christie trimmed down at the same time that a presidential campaign team was getting him to smooth out the rough edges of his delivery, he would give up the trait that so many Americans — a lot of whom are pretty chunky themselves — admire." He points out, "Running for President doesn't literally mean 'running.' He shouldn't try to get in shape or lose the weight. It's the winning trait that only he has."
And to settle the issue once and for all, Ann Coulter says, "I like his look. I think it’s going to be very appealing if he were to run for president after you know, four years of this big-eared bean pole in the White House destroying the economy. I think a fat man will be very attractive."