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
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
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
"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
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. …