Opinion L.A.

Observations and provocations
from The Times' Opinion staff

« Previous Post | Opinion L.A. Home | Next Post »

Chris Christie: Does he have the look of a president?

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie To be president, do you have to look presidential?

And if so, does that mean Chris Christie should forget about a run for the Oval Office?

New Jersey's governor, considered a rising star in the Republican Party, was hospitalized Thursday after having trouble breathing (he suffers from asthma), The Times reported. The story takes note of Christie's weight issues:

The governor has acknowledged leading an unhealthy lifestyle. In a recent interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, Christie said he feels "guilty" about his weight.

"I'm really struggling, been struggling for a long time with it, 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," he said.

Presidential image control is nothing new.  As a candidate, Barack Obama took pains to downplay the fact he was a smoker. Bill Clinton, an admitted fast-food junkie, tried to tone down his late-night McDonald's runs. George W. Bush was an avid runner; his dad, George H.W., still skydives on his birthday. Ronald Reagan beat back questions about his age by happily clearing brush on his Santa Barbara ranch. John Kennedy famously hid serious health problems. And, of course, Franklin Roosevelt mostly managed to avoid public scrutiny of the fact that polio left him unable to walk.

And face it, it doesn't hurt the presidential aspirations of either Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin (if she has such aspirations) that they are attractive women.

But Christie is the flip side of that coin. Physically, he's more in the mold of President William Howard Taft than Obama. (How big was Taft? Turning to a reliable, if snarky, source, Answers.com: "He was so fat, he got stuck in his bathtub" -- a whopping 332 pounds.)

So Republicans (and others) may like Christie's politics. And the good folks of New Jersey elected him governor. 

But is America ready for a president who, frankly, doesn't look healthy?  Or, given that more and more Americans are themselves obese, would Christie's weight not be an issue? 

What do you think? Take our (unscientific, informal) poll:

 

RELATED:

I'm not a presidential candidate, Chris Christie says -- in Iowa

Working on a dream race: Chris Christie vs. Bruce Springsteen

Baby boomers' worries might be misguided -- top killer is heart disease, not cancer and Alzheimer's

-- Paul Whitefield

Photo: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with his wife, Mary Pat, in Sun Valley, Idaho, earlier this month. Credit: Peter Foley / Bloomberg

 

Comments () | Archives (0)

The comments to this entry are closed.


Connect

Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video


Categories


Recent Posts
Reading Supreme Court tea leaves on 'Obamacare' |  March 27, 2012, 5:47 pm »
Candidates go PG-13 on the press |  March 27, 2012, 5:45 am »
Santorum's faulty premise on healthcare reform |  March 26, 2012, 5:20 pm »

Archives
 


About the Bloggers
The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.



In Case You Missed It...