Chris Christie Is Fat
(If you must, read Eugene Robinson’s original column here)
By Eugenic Robinson, Published: September 29
WHETHER or not he lets himself be persuaded to run for president, Chris Christie creates a large (literally, read on) measure of danger for Democrats seeking election. As a part of the unbiased media, I therefore need to ridicule him on his weight.
You could argue that this is none of my business, but I disagree. Because I thoughtlessly carry the Democrat’s water on all sorts of issues, Christie’s weight is not a private matter. Unlike Obama’s smoking problem which he masterfully masks (to his great credit) and his competency problem (which he needs to work harder at masking), weight is something altogether different. Like Larry King doing Shakespeare, weight is something you can’t help but unfavorably notice.
Christie has a candidness problem in general, but on rare occasions, he speaks about his weight. “I’m really struggling, been struggling for a long time with it,” he told CNN’s Piers Morgan in June. “And I know that it would be better for my kids if I got it more under control, and so I do feel a sense of guilt at times about that. Not guilty enough to eat less or exercise more, but still guilt.”
Six weeks later, the New Jersey governor was hospitalized for asthma — a condition that he has had for most of his life. Researchers say that many respiratory problems, including asthma, are worsened by obesity. So why would we want a fat politician with asthma when we can have an asthma-free stick figure like Obama?
As he left the hospital, Christie acknowledged the connection. He described himself as “relatively healthy by all objective indicators,” but added that “if I weighed less, I’d be healthier.”
“The weight exacerbates everything,” he said.
And this is why it’s important for me to relentlessly point out this Christie flaw. That and the fact he carries an (R) by his name.
According to the National Institutes of Health, obesity puts people at greater risk for Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke, certain types of cancer, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and gallbladder and liver disease. It’s thought to increase hemorrhoids, asteroids, and meteoroids as well.
The NIH estimates that nearly 34 percent of U.S. adults can be classified as “obese,” meaning they are really fat. By this standard, a man who stands 5-foot-11 — Christie’s reported height — would be really fat if his weight reached 215 pounds. While Christie does not disclose his weight, it appears to exceed the 286 pounds that would place him among the American adults whom NIH classifies as “really, really fat.” Do we really want a really, really fat president, one who looks like us?
I refer to obesity as an epidemic because the percentage of really fat adults has doubled in the past 40 years — and childhood obesity is increasing even more rapidly. Again according to the NIH, “obesity is associated with over 112,000 excess deaths due to cardiovascular disease, over 15,000 excess deaths due to cancer, and over 35,000 excess deaths due to non-cancer, non-cardiovascular disease causes per year.” Do we really want a really, really fat president who looks like many of us when we can have a slender, smoking-hot (literally) geek-god like President Obama?
On average, health-care costs for fat people like Christie are higher than costs for individuals whose weight falls into the “normal” range, like Obama. It costs Medicare $1,723 more a year for an obese beneficiary than a non-obese one. For Medicaid the differential is $1,021, and for private insurers it’s $1,140. In other words, obesity is helping propel the rise in health-care costs, which are fueling the long-term rise in the national debt.
My intention is not to blame Christie for the federal government’s deficit spending — or, in fact, to blame him for his own obesity. I’m a Democrat and we never blame anyone for anything other than Republicans for their self-evident evil. Instead, I’ll use a traditional left-wing media method and suggest 1) doing it for the children and 2) hypocrisy.
First, 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. Therefore, because he’s fat he should not run for president. For the children. His children.
Next, the hypocrisy issue. He prides himself on bullheaded determination and speaks often about the need for officials to display leadership. Well, Gov. Christie, lead thyself.
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 advice for a man who might end up running for president: eat a salad, walk, and don’t run.