Chris Christie weight-loss procedure: Why now? (+video)(Read article summary)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has undergone weight-loss surgery, the New York Post reports. Is this about 2016 and the politics of appearance?
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has had weight-loss surgery, according to an account in Tuesdayâ€™s New York Post. He agreed to the operation at the urging of family and friends after reaching the milestone of his half-century birthday.
The lap-band procedure is designed to cut his appetite by constricting his stomach. Itâ€™s already working, he told the Post.
â€śA week or two ago, I went to a steakhouse and ordered a steak and ate about a third of it, and I was full,â€ť Governor Christie said.
Is this about 2016 and the politics of appearance? After all, comedians have ribbed the non-small Christie about his weight for years.
In 2011, David Letterman did â€śTop Ten Ways the Country Would Be Different if Chris Christie Were President,â€ť and it was basically just a list of fat jokes. (Our favorite was No. 9, â€śGoodbye White House vegetable garden.â€ť) That same year, veteran political journalist Michael Kinsley wrote a Bloomberg View column saying that Christie had done well in the Garden State and might be the man to impose fiscal discipline on Washington. Then he went for the too-obvious symbolism.
â€śPerhaps Christie is the one to help us get our national appetites under control. But it would help if he got his own under control first,â€ť Mr. Kinsley wrote.
The fact is, though, Christie is doing pretty well on the national stage just the size he is. Heâ€™s one of the most popular governors in the United States and a front-runner for the 2016 GOP nomination, trailing ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and current Florida Sen. Marco Rubio by a tick in a recent Fairleigh Dickinson University poll.
Christie himself explains his surgery as something he did for his wife and kids. Itâ€™s got nothing to do with 2016 and isnâ€™t complicated, he said. Weight is a problem heâ€™s struggled with for years, and itâ€™s time to do something about it.
â€śFor me, this is about turning 50 and looking at my children and wanting to be there for them,â€ť said Christie.
Thatâ€™s a sentiment any nacho-loving spouse and parent can relate to.
If thereâ€™s something the procedure is not about, itâ€™s Christieâ€™s more-immediate political prospects. Heâ€™s running for reelection at the moment, and heâ€™s so far ahead heâ€™d need a telescope to look back at his opponent, Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono.
As of the beginning of May, Christie has raised $6.2 million for his reelection bid, according to Politico.
Senator Buono has raised about $738,000, which is not even enough to qualify for all the public matching funds to which sheâ€™s entitled, according to Jarrett Renshaw of the Newark, N.J.-based Star-Ledger.