Last week I wrote about the GOP’s need for a “cloth-coat” Republican, someone who can be comfortable in his or her own skin and relate to ordinary voters. Judge for yourself as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie explains why he had lap-band surgery to address his weight problem :

Well, he’s either a fabulous actor or a pretty down-to-earth guy. In politics, to be honest, it doesn’t matter much which it is.

Other than Christie’s real-guy quality a few things are noteworthy:

First, the headlines that said he had “secret” surgery are a bit odd. Was he really obligated to tell New Jersey voters? I’m not so sure, but, if so, a lot of pols should be telling us a lot more about their medical visits, procedures, diets, etc.

Second, it is a bit cavalier to say someone would undergo surgery on the possibility that he  might run for president. But, even so, why is that a problem? Is it any different than the president trying to quit smoking? (I do think chances are that Christie will run in 2016, but I am also fairly certain he hasn’t made a decision yet. The mantra I hear from the Christie circle is that it’s not even a topic of discussion until the election and the Sandy recovery are behind him.)

And, lastly, those pundits who say a skinny Chris Christie won’t be as appealing or real, I would suggest, have it very wrong. No matter how successful the surgery I wouldn’t expect Christie to wind up with a jockey’s physique. Of course, the real response is that the weight is not what makes Christie real, but leave it to the press to pick the most superficial explanation possible about his appeal.

Fat or less fat, surgery or not, what Christie has is a non-politician’s demeanor, which is certainly an enviable quality. He is a grown-up with a no-nonsense approach to governance. So yes, in whatever size, he’d be a cloth-coat Republican.