Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Chris Christie Sources Say He Still May Run

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Chris Christie Sources Say He Still May Run

Article excerpt

After issuing many denials, Chris Christie still may enter the GOP presidential nomination race, several people close to him tell the AP. If he does, conservatives may not be entirely happy with his record.

Oh, dear. After issuing all but Shermanesque statements about not running for president - "I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected," as Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman put it back in 1884 - it looks like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie still may enter the rocky race for the Republican nomination.

That, at least, is what "several people close to the governor with knowledge of his thinking" tell the Associated Press.

Christie reportedly is being urged by senior establishment Republicans (including George H.W. Bush, Henry Kissinger, and Nancy Reagan) who see him as the best bet to beat President Obama in 2012. Former New York governor George Pataki has just endorsed him.

The Monitor's Weekly News Quiz for Sept. 25-30, 2011

"He's definitely our strongest candidate in November," US Rep. Peter King (R) of New York told the New York Post. "He's the closest we have to putting together the old Reagan Democratic coalition." Of course, no one close to Christie says anything definitive on the record. Who'd want to get out front of a man of Christie's Falstaffian heft?

Speaking of which, columnists (including the Monitor's) have felt free in recent days to comment on Christie's ample (and perhaps unhealthy) girth as a factor in whether he's qualified to be president. Christie himself has spoken of his weight problem.

But there's been pushback to that line of thinking.

Writing in New York magazine (under the headline "Chris Christie Is Fat. So What?") Jonathan Chait argues that "the American overclass prizes thinness to a degree that is actually unhealthy, and the disgust privileged Americans feel toward fat people, who are more likely to be poor and middle-class, dresses itself up as medical advice."

"Why does his weight matter at all?" Chait asks. "The only real reasoning I see here is that American elites view obesity with disgust, and they're repulsed at the notion that a very fat guy could rise to a position of symbolic leadership. It's not a very attractive sentiment."

Believe it or not, some see the issue as one of civil rights. The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (whose slogan is "We come in all sizes"), for example.

Peggy Howell, the organization's public relations director, is quoted as saying, "I see it as a tactic to try and take attention away from his accomplishments and instead focus on his body size. …

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