Michael Kinsley argues Governor Chris Christie is too fat to be President

I’m not sure obesity is always as medically straightforward as Michael Kinsley pretends in his Bloomberg op-ed:

“Controlling what you eat and how much is not easy, and it’s harder for some people than for others. But it’s not as difficult as curing a chemical addiction. With a determined, disciplined effort, Christie could thin down, and he should — because the obesity epidemic is real and dangerous. And the president inevitably sets an example.”

“Unfortunately, the symbolism of Christie’s weight problem goes way past the issue of obesity itself. It is just a too- perfect symbol of our country at the moment, with appetites out of control and discipline near zilch. And it’s not just symbolism. We don’t yet know much about Chris Christie. He certainly makes all the right noises about fiscal discipline and seems to have done well so far as governor of New Jersey. Perhaps Christie is the one to help us get our national appetites under control. But it would help if he got his own under control first.”

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About Guy N. Texas

Guy N. Texas is the pen name of a lawyer living in Dallas, who is now a liberal. He was once conservative, but this word has so morphed in meaning that he can no longer call himself that in good conscience. Guy has no political aspirations. He speaks only for himself.
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4 Responses to Michael Kinsley argues Governor Chris Christie is too fat to be President

  1. ghostdogjedi says:

    The individuals that speak ill of Chris Christie as being too fat to run for President have no place in real, serious conversation about who the next President will be. On the lighter side though, Chris Christie reminded me from my history studies of William Howard Taft who was the President of the United States from 1909-1913. I just learned too that President Taft lost 80 lbs. after he left office and went on to live a long life. There may not have been an “obesity epidemic” back then but Taft was, quite literally, the Big Man in Office. If Chris Christie becomes President we’ll have another Big Man and maybe he’ll give hope to those that are routinely bullied by others about their weight. I am obese myself and I aspire to lose weight as we all ought to. There is nothing wrong with losing weight. The flipside is that there is nothing wrong with being big either. And the constant jabs on Chris Christie come from those that are obsessed with having a “skinny” (i.e. meatless) America.

  2. hortonw says:

    Kinsley’s argument is awful. Let’s say, for the sake of the more interesting aspect of the argument, that Christie’s condition is not genetic. That’s the more likely scenario in a statistical sense, but in any case, let’s assume it’s so. I think Kinsley is making two points.

    First, Christie’s own self-control. There is little correlation between self control in one aspect of life and discipline in other aspects. Clinton has a hard worker and showed fiscal and military restraint as Prez. His self control in at least one other area was poor. It’s like phobias. The fact that someone has a phobia does not make them fearful in general. Often the phobia is specific to one aspect of life and the person might be quite brave in other aspects.

    Sec0nd, symbolism. Of course, the symbolic argument proves too much. It would mean we should not vote for Christie even if his obesity is genetic. That’s a high price to pay. Also, voting against someone on such symbolism is dangerous stuff. If we think that maleness is symbolic of our nation’s infatuation with war, should we only vote for females, even if they personally are no less militant than the male candidate? If we think that fundamentalism is a problem in this country should we vote against a person whose religious views are fundamentalist even if they have a strong track record of governing in a non-fundamentalist way?

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