Let’s Stop Caring About A President’s Weight, Please


Yesterday, Barbara Walters sat down with Governor Chris Christie for a live broadcast interview. For his dedication to New Jersey during Hurricane Sandy and the non-partisan, budding friendship with President Obama, the famous newswoman made room for the Governor on her ‘The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2012’ list.

She asked him about his thoughts on Romney’s loss, his thoughts on the Atlantic City Mayor who told his citizens to stay put before Sandy and, of course, what he thought about the health implications of his weight with voters.

“That’s ridiculous. I don’t know what the basis is for that,” Mr. Christie said. “I think people watched me doing 18-hour days and getting right back up the next day and still being as effective in the job. So I don’t really think that would be a problem.”
Walters advanced the subject with dieting questions. And Mr. Christie had to tell her that he’s successfully and unsuccessfully tried them numerous times and currently on one now. But, still, the Governor makes a great point: weight is not a problem for voters.
So can we stop worrying so much about it?
We all know that Governor Christie has had a weird past with that weight question. It was mentioned when he was running for Governor; it was mentioned when he was considered for a VP spot; it was mentioned when he was overseeing the relief efforts for Sandy; and it was mentioned last night by none other than Barbara Walters. It’s this fleeting issue the media has created as a backdrop for stories about Mr. Christie, just like how almost every story you read now about Hillary Clinton has that underlying context of “Will she run in 2016?!” And it needs to stop now.
Because, besides the fact that it’s senseless, the weight issue does not hold any water in the world of politics. Yes, the topic is a sensitive issue for Americans – it carries with it many personal and emotional attachments for millions of people – but it’s not something a majority of voters concerned about the future of this country are staying up all night thinking about. Do you think the millions and millions in poverty or on the unemployment line are worried about what happens when their President gets on a scale?
No matter where we are in 2016, any person’s electability boils down to economic reasoning and their persona that’s built off of that. This is why Mitt’s ’47 Percent Moment’ was so devastating for his campaign’s chances. It wasn’t the Mormonism or the flip-flopping or Paul Ryan. It was a video that broadcasted to millions of voters the true sentiments of someone who might possibly lead the country. He simultaneously gaffed about the most basic economic dynamics of American capitalism and offended an enormous constituency of voters (afterwards, further solidifying said sentiments with his ‘gifts‘ rant). It was the nail in the coffin for his Overly Rich Guy persona that he tried so desperately hard to hide from.
The result: his 47 percent showing on Election Night.
Therefore, the weight questions need to disappear faster than Social Security. In the future, let’s ask Mr. Christie what his plans are to fix the many national problems that lie ahead instead of whether or not he’s a fan of the Atkins diet.