When it comes to big shoes you need big feet to fill them and Chris Christie is one of the biggest. While he decides whether to run for president or not, the media is making a mountain of the man’s weight and the blogosphere is adding its slice of cake to the party too.
The real debate of course is the kind of message having an overweight president sends out to the world. Well, that’s the debate raging in the media, not here at CWD.
Chris Christie has openly admitted to struggling with his weight as well as asthma but should that really be a barrier to him becoming the next American leader?
Some are stating that having a ‘fat’ president (representing the 33% of US citizens who are clinically obese) would make a laughing stock of the country. Because successive, fruitless wars against Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya haven’t done that at all.
Before Barack Obama there had never been a black president (not that he’s actually black) but there was no abuse hurled at him in the media because of his colour as there would have been such an almighty uproar that civil war would have broken out. The LA riots would seem like a sneeze in comparison.
So what’s really happening with Chris Christie is a public mocking about his weight because that is still apparently acceptable. We’re witnessing a level of discrimination which would not be tolerated for a second if it was levelled at a disabled person, or one of the many ethnic minorities.
By the logic of those who claim an obese president sends the wrong message, a black president would do the same, as would a female president or a wheelchair bound president. Leadership is not about a person’s size, colour, gender or physical ability; it’s about leadership and affinity, sensitivity and strength. A president carries the weight of all its citizens expectations and hopes, non-physical things which don’t require a Brad Pitt or Angleina Jolie lookalike to fulfill them.
Would Sarah Palin make a better candidate? No, in my humble opinion, she would not.
Nothing to do with her gender, in fact women generally make better bosses than men because they are far less monomanic and far more aware of their surroundings. No, Sarah Palin would make a terrible president because she is vengeful, tactless and comes across as quite unintelligent. Add to that her daughter’s continuous blunders and the family’s general ‘do anything for publicity’ policy (a la reality TV) and you have a very ugly candidacy.
Other speculation being fired at Christie relates to follow on conditions from obesity such as diabetes, high blood pressure, lethargy and heart conditions, which, some are suggesting would lead him to be unable to complete his tenure as president.
What they don’t discuss is the fact that with the right help and direction, Christie could shed tens of pounds very quickly and reduce the risk of secondary illness, whereas Sarah Palin would need a personality makeover to correct discrepancies. The same goes for John McCain who suffered with melanoma; what’s to suggest a recurrence of that wouldn’t mean a premature end to his presidency?
Every candidate is a risk in some capacity or other so why pick on Chris Christie because of his size? Surely he should win or lose on his policies and ideas, nothing else.
Maybe once installed as the new president Christie could pass some bills to end mass food production and usher in a new age of organic, localised farming which is better for our health, the environment around us and the animals involved. Regardless of their weight, that’s the kind of president I’d like to see.
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images: forbes.com, electionsmeter.com, ohinternet.com, telegraph.co.uk,