Chris Christie is expected to officially announce today that he will not be running for President, and with him goes the hope for another barrier to be broken. Maybe the American dream isn't available to everyone. Despite the many ideological differences, there is one thing that unites the left and right. That's right, we are once again not electing the fat guy.
History is bursting with full figured Commander in Chiefs; Teddy Roosevelt spoke softly and carried a big gut around and Grover Cleveland didn't look like he passed up too many lunches. This is a different time, though, when the pudgy POTUS is but a distant dream of typically obese American children everywhere. Take a look at our last 10 presidents: not a chubbster among them. These pipe cleaners look like they've been starving themselves like supermodels or those kids in the Sally Struthers commercials, not leaders of the free world. In fact, one of them is actually an African! Clinton was a little doughy, but he's nobody's idea of a fat guy. Will we ever see a portly, Christie sized man in the oval office? I doubt it will happen in our lifetime. Nowadays, we like our political leaders pleasant to look at, with nice teeth, an affable but not goofy demeanor, intelligent but not a brainy elitist, and a guy that you could have a beer with but doesn't look like he routinely attends keg parties and taps it himself. The American voting hierarchy is as such:
- White Protestant
- White Catholic
- Mixed Black and White Protestant
- Black Protestant or Catholic
- White Woman
- Black woman
- Ralph Nader
And that's it. We've still got a way to go before we knock off the fully black protestant or catholic , any kind of woman and then the Chinese President. Christie seems to understand this, bowing out gracefully before the voting public reminds him of how far he's let himself go. His Jersey guy every man shtick only goes so far. Nixon's popularity famously waned after a particularly sweaty debate in which his dripping face contrasted with the pretty boy looks of JFK. Imagine Christie under some hot lights. Ted Striker trying to land the plane comes to mind.
So, will the discrimination against rotund guys in politics ever end? Probably not. Physical appearance is a piece of the puzzle, but it is a very big piece. Trying to fit a jolly, plump guy in just isn't going to work in America. Next year's candidates and the future leaders of tomorrow better not cancel their Bally's memberships just yet. Let Christie be a lesson to us all.