Via reader Hilts, Jon Chait has a pretty good piece on why he thinks people should should stop focusing on Chris Christie’s weight.
I will tell you why I think people should shut up about it: I don’t think it affects his ability to do his job. It’s that simple, for me. This isn’t about being politically correct. There all kinds of health problems and disabilities that I think would get in the way of being an effective president. Bachmann’s migraines might have been problematic (I’d have to know more to say for sure); whatever was wrong with George W. Bush — I think he might have suffered from some diagnosable cognitive/attention deficit disability, though I’m not an expert — probably impacted his ability to be an effective president.
I don’t think being overweight falls into that category. Do you?
Part of being a liberal is believing that if someone can do a job well, they deserve a shot at that job, whether they’re black, white, brown, gay, straight, Jewish, Christian, atheist, thin, fat. That’s why we nominate great presidential candidates even if they’re black like Obama or from very poor families like Clinton. Leave all that only rich, corn-fed, broad-shouldered himbos need apply bullshit for the wingers.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to call Chris Christie Chunky Jon Huntsman if he gets into the race. But you can’t convince me that his weight is a legitimate issue.
The best president of the (last) century could barely walk, remember.
Update. Obviously, to the extent that it affects his ability to get elected, that’s fair game. But I haven’t heard of it affecting his ability to be governor or to be a federal prosecutor.