Thursday, October 8, 2009

Jon Corzine Criticizes Chris Christie's Weight

I've been periodically following the Virginia governor's race; it seems that it would take something of a miracle for Creigh Deeds to close the gap. My take is that Bob McDonnell is probably the stronger candidate anyway, but Deeds is fighting a particularly difficult battle because of moderate Virginians' concerns about government overreach by the Obama administration.
This morning I read my first article of this election season about the other big gubernatorial race: New Jersey's. The candidates are Jon Corzine (the Democratic incumbent), Chris Christie (the Republican challenger), and Chris Daggett (an independent).

David Halbfinger
, in the Times, reports (here) that Corzine is making an issue of the fact that Christie is obese. He cites to a recent campaign ad in which Corzine accuses Christie of "throwing his weight around" and then shows unflattering video that focuses on Christie's stomach.

I watched the video on You Tube and it was more subtle than Halbfinger's article would have you think. Nevertheless, I think Corzine is living dangerously by criticizing Christie on such a personal level: there are definitely Americans who are anti-fat, but I think there are probably more who are anti-mean, and teasing/making fun of someone for his weight will be regarded by most people as mean.

Halbfinger does point out that there are few nationally-prominent overweight politicians (he mentions Bill Richardson, Mike Huckabee (pre-diet), and Sonny Perdue), and this got me to thinking that there have been -- historically -- a number of overweight Presidents, but it is somewhat hard to imagine an overweight person being elected President, nowadays, in our video-focused culture.

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