Too Fat for President

Via Megan here is Eugene Robinson:

Whether or not he lets himself be persuaded to run for president, Chris Christie needs to find some way to lose weight. Like everyone else, elected officials perform best when they are in optimal health. Christie obviously is not. 

You could argue that this is none of my business, but I disagree. Christie's problem with weight ceased being a private matter when he stepped into the public arena -- and it's not something you can fail to notice. Obesity is a national epidemic whose costs are measured not just in dollars and cents but also in lives. Christie's weight is as legitimate an issue as the smoking habit that President Obama says he has finally kicked.

Look, I'm sorry, but New Jersey Governor Chris Christie cannot be president: He is just too fat. Maybe, if he runs for president and we get to know him, we will overlook this awkward issue because we are so impressed with the way he stands up to teachers' unions. But we shouldn't overlook it -- unless he goes on a diet and shows he can stick to it.

I'll leave it to Megan and Jon Chait to explain why this is unfair to Christie. I want to speak as someone who's fought this battle for eight years, and only now has begun to see some daylight.

It's not so much that Eugene Robinson, or Michael Kinsley are being intrusive. It's that they're being rude. And their rudeness has targets beyond Chris Christie. The last thing people--and really kids--who are struggling with this need is columnists yoking the megaphone telling them how simple it would be for them to be in "optimal health." I don't grasp any great understanding of the science of hunger and weight from either of those columns.

I'd be very interested in whether either of these gentlemen would tell Chris Christie to his face that he need to "find some way to lose weight." I don't mean that in terms of being scared of Christie. I think, if only because of an internal sense of manners, it's a lot easier to be casually mean to people in print, as opposed to when they're standing in front of you.

Some things are just rude.