He'll avoir less avoirdupois. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
He’ll avoir less avoirdupois. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The New York Post reported Tuesday that famously corpulent New Jersey governor Chris Christie had undergone lap-band stomach surgery as part of a weight loss regimen. Christie said that he had done it because he wanted to be healthier in order to be around for his kids.

“Ah,” everyone said in unison, “so he’s really serious about a 2016 bid.”

“Before, it was a flirtation,” they murmured. “But it’s serious. Serious enough to stand between him and FOOD.”

“Wait a second,” you might be saying, “isn’t this something he could actually be doing for his family? Must we be cynical? Are we so sure it’s a presidential thing? After all, both losing weight and being elected president would force him to stop wearing that governor fleece of which he is so evidently fond. And also, what if what happened to Drew Carey happens to him, and he goes from being a jovial, friendly-looking specimen of humanity to, well, what Drew Carey looks like these days. That would not help his presidential bid at all. In fact, it might backfire.”

“Of course it’s a presidential thing,” the dubious voices reply. “He was also spotted spending quality time with his kids, something that presidents clearly want to have on their resumés, and maintaining a stable relationship with his wife, no doubt because that polls so well with voters. It’s all about 2016 at this point.”

“Really I think it could go either way,” someone else points out. “I mean, if he were doing what Cory Booker does and rescuing actual human beings from burning buildings all the time, I would say it was suspicious. But he might actually just be doing this for his health.”

“Could it be both?”

“Well, running for the most stressful job in the Western hemisphere may not really help the whole Stay Healthy For The Kids plan.”

“Still, what if it is for 2016?” murmur more nervous voices. “After his fraternization with President Obama and yelling at Speaker Boehner, his visible devotion to doughnuts and Big Gulps was the only thing keeping him on that side of the aisle. Now, any primary opponent could suggest he was just implementing Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative. Americans don’t want a guy as their president who eats a third of a steak and is full. That seems unpatriotic, somehow. He’s pulled a Bloomberg and limited his own portion size!”

“Well, no matter what, I guess he’ll be more able to run,” the voices conclude.

What will we have to caricature if he shapes up? What about all the starving Is Christie Too Fat To Be President editorialists waiting in the wings? Will the word “avoirdupois” be forced into an early retirement, after its brief and glorious return to public life, whirling from column to column in a blaze of glory like none it had seen since the Taft years? Heck, what about Taft comparisons? What will become of them? What about all the jocular responses of, “Sure, but he’ll pant and wheeze a little,” to the question, “Can Christie run in 2016?”

Were we not ready for a candidate who looked like us?

The NY Post cited sources who said “Christie didn’t make the decision lightly,” which seems like a cruel way for the sources to put it.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.