As recent speculative stories about Hillary Clinton show, it is not too early to opine about the 2016 presidential election.
In that vein, Ryan Migeed (a sophomore in the American University School of Public Affairs and the School of Communication and the vice president of AU College Democrats) offers an intriguing view of the New Jersey Governor’s potential candidacy.
The American people have just finally exhaled after enduring a long and tiring presidential campaign, and already the talk has turned to 2016. (“Talk” here meaning the blathering of TV’s “talking heads.”)
In my first “PR Presidency” class, we addressed this talk with a talk of our own. First, we talked about the many names rumored to be 2016 contenders, and then about just one of those names: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
My professor gingerly brought up the subject of Christie’s girth and then, as politely as possible, asked us, “Is Chris Christie too…fat…to be president?”
But, forgive me, this is my maiden editorial column in The Eagle, and I have neglected to introduce myself. My name is Ryan Migeed, I am a sophomore and I do not believe that Christie is too fat to be president.
The problem with the “Christie is too fat” arguments is that they are all preconceived. He and his team of savvy politicos can anticipate any claim and prepare for it. “Heart disease” is countered with “no history in the family.” “High blood pressure” is refuted with “What presidential candidate doesn’t have high blood pressure in such a fast-paced campaign?” And the surest answer to any query is a clean bill of health from his doctor, which is entirely possible. (Granted, that bill of health would include a scribbled note from the doctor saying, “Lose weight,” but let’s ignore that for a moment.)
The kicker, of course, would be an exercise regimen, and many argue that if Christie starts to lose weight, he is definitely running in 2016…
What is most interesting about this whole “Is Christie too large?” debate is that it seems to be divided on generational lines. In my class, many, if not most, students dismissed Christie’s weight as an unimportant factor. Meanwhile, our professor (who is about our parents’ age), could not accept the idea that the American people would ignore such an obvious trait.
Perhaps the youngest voting generation is more willing to overlook physical differences in light of policy differences. After all, we were the ones who helped propel the first African-American into the presidency. Perhaps we’ll do it again with the first modern president who happens to be…big-boned.