Since revealing that he had weight loss surgery, Gov. Chris Christie has declined to state precisely how many pounds he has lost. Now, however, after pressure from potential campaign donors, the political power has finally disclosed that he shed 85 pounds, reported the Philly News on Sept. 22. But is it enough to gain him the White House?
Christie made the announcement at a private meeting with potential campaign donors. He attempted to joke about his battle with diets, saying, “A doctor once told me you have to have the right relationship with the food you eat. And believe me, for many years, I had a great relationship with the foods I ate.”
But the governor’s decision to have weight loss surgery took place only after a serious wake-up call that he needed to shed pounds if he wanted to win the presidency. The procedure that he had is known as lap-band surgery, reported the New York Daily News on Sept. 22.
Christie admitted that he recognizes appearance and health both count in running for the highest office in the nation. However, he still refused to state how much he currently weighs, noting only how much he had lost. What’s the significance of revealing his precise weight? It could show his body mass index (BMI), typically used to indicate whether someone is considered morbidly obese.
The issue of Christie’s obesity blew up when former White House doctor Connie Mariano warned that he could have a stroke or heart attack in office if he achieved the presidency. Christie’s response: “Shut up,” reported the Daily Journal on Sept. 22.
At the time, Christie’s weight was not a concern for his role as governor, according to a poll. But it was a liability for a run for the White House.
“You don’t have to be built like a track star to be president, which Bill Clinton proved, but you have to be within a certain range (of weight) because appearance matters,” said Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray. “Chris Christie was outside that range.”
Murray cautioned that obesity could factor into voters’ decisions at the polling booth. “While appearance is not going to be the deciding factor in a presidential race, it could have an impact in a very close race. It’s also a character issue because, like it or not, some people think obesity is a character flaw and a sign of somebody who can’t control himself,” said Murray.
Is fat the final frontier in discrimination? Or is it valid to have “fat and jolly” be viewed as positive only if you want to apply for a job as Santa Claus? Post your comments below and let us know what you think.