I had to rub my eyes when catching up on my news reading for the past few days. Are liberals such as columnists Eugene Robinson and Michael Kinsley really suggesting that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is too fat to be president?
If so, they are scraping the bottom of the barrel to come up with reasons why throngs of GOP voters and a great many independents and Democrats otherwise prepared to vote for Christie should reconsider.
Let me first observe the gross hypocrisy at work here. President Obama smokes. While in office Bill Clinton was overweight and had high cholesterol. I never heard any of these folks raise a peep. So long as there was no evidence that they could not fulfill their duties over the course of their term, liberals (being nonjudgmental in all things except the behavior of conservatives) didn’t seem to mind. (I suppose they’d have insisted that Winston Churchill stay in the wilderness with that smelly cigar?)
Robinson declares: “Christie is just 49 and has four young children; politics aside, I’m sure he wants to be around to share the milestones in their lives.” How thoughtful of him, but if Christie’s long-term health is impaired by his weight (just as Obama may die prematurely of lung cancer) that’s really a matter for him and his loved ones. And if Robinson was so concerned about Christie’s life expectancy, why not raise this when Christie was running for governor?
All of this would seem a tad less cynical if either of these liberals had ever told the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, an obese and hard-drinking (to put it mildly) pol to get his health under control.
All presidential candidates should at some point release their health records. The public can evaluate whether the candidates seem physically able to serve. (If this sort of fetish had been the rage in the past, we’d never have had the depressed Abraham Lincoln, the overweight Teddy Roosevelt and the wheelchair-bound FDR in the Oval Office.) We’re not electing a phys ed coach, for goodness’ sake.
Frankly, if Christie is trying to exercise and slim down, as Robinson concedes, that is the sort of leader a lot of voters could relate to. And, come to think of it, that’s another reason for Democrats to fear him.