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Chris Christie Is Fat—So What?

'Girth doesn't equal character,' writes Frank Bruni
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2011 9:08 AM CDT
Frank Bruni: Chris Christie's Weight Has Nothing to Do With His Ability to Be President
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie answers a question as he and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels speak to a gathering at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J. , Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011. Both Republicans told a student that their decision not to run for president was a family decision. The two governors said...   (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

(Newser) – Sometimes, size does matter, such as in spelunking or squeezing into a middle seat on economy class flights. "But the presidency? That’s ludicrous," writes Frank Bruni in the New York Times, referring to recent sneering coverage of the portly Chris Christie and his presidential amibitions. There are plenty of reasons to dislike the New Jersey governor, says Bruni, but his waistline isn't one. "Girth doesn’t equal character," he writes. "And mettle has better measurements than the number of scoops in your post-dinner sundae or miles in your pre-breakfast run."

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The argument many make is that obesity represents a lack of discipline, which should preclude someone from the presidency. But that's just garbage, says Bruni, who notes that "vegan-come-lately" Bill Clinton succumbed "to a Big Mac here and a Lewinsky there"—neither of which had anything to do with how he governed—and that Hollywood's perfect bodies haven't exactly led to high moral standards. And as Bruni himself has struggled with obesity and bulimia over the years, he sympathizes with Christie and others with weight issues. While voters are right to question the health effects of Christie's girth, but no more so than they did the age of septuagenarians Ronald Reagan or John McCain. Ultimately, "It’s the eyes, not the thighs, that are windows to the soul," writes Bruni. (Read more Chris Christie stories.)

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