May 10, 2013

Since the days of TV, have we ever had a fat President?

And will the Chris Christie surgical approach to defattifying play politically? What does this approach to problem-solving say about presidential qualifications?



Also: How Newt Gingrich could have been President, how Obamacare is going to have to cover weight-loss surgery, and why Obamacare should lead to the legalization of marijuana.

65 comments:

David said...

Did taxpayers in NJ get the bill for Christie's surgery, through his medical insurance.? Or does the state employee medical insurance cover costs via premiums? That could be a fun issue.

As to problem solving, he showed that he's willing to try Plan B when Plan A does not work. But we already knew that about him.

Now we also know that he will try to keep something this important secret, at least for a while. That was not a good decision.

Hillary is fat too. Why is she getting a pass? She's not as fat but she's fat. I guess she hopes Christie will run so she will not be the fattest candidate.

Plus I bet Hillary will slim down for the race. Her last job is a good one for putting on the pounds.

Matthew Sablan said...

How is this important to anyone but him and his family?

Tibore said...

""Since the days of TV, have we ever had a fat President?"

Well, Bill Clinton was hardly svelte, but compared to Christie, yeah, most people are thin.

sinz52 said...

The last truly fat President was William Howard Taft, who served one term starting in 1909.

Even long before TV, fat Presidents were rare. Grover Cleveland was the only other truly fat President I can think of, although McKinley was heavier than Bill Clinton.

Matthew Sablan said...

I think, when Clinton was elected, he was at a fairly healthy weight. He didn't really put on weight till the aging effects of the presidency hit him, if my memory's correct. Could be wrong though.

Revenant said...

Christie's failure to become President will have nothing to do with his weight and everything to do with his inability to appeal to the Republican base.

madAsHell said...

The Death Panel will be chaired by Mr. Christie.

Pogo said...

It's their intellectual flabbiness that harms us, not their BMI.

Tank said...

He has a problem, and he's looking for a way to fix it. Not my way, but working on it.

This approach should sit well with all of the people who've had surgery to improve their looks, mostly women, of course. How can you be against this after your own tummy tuck, breast enhancement, tattoo, piercing, face lift, liposuction, etc?

Did we get auto spell check here?

blackjellybean said...

Actually, how many fat presidents have we EVER had? I guess Teddy Roosevelt was overweight, but other than Taft, I can't think of any President approaching Christie's proportions. Here in NJ my kids always giggle when they run the commercials showing his big ol' face in profile, and then some guy intones, "Chris Christie: The Governor."

Jeff Teal said...

Everybody forget how portly Hoover looked?Plus I can see political inspiration for a lot of popular surgeries being covered and orphan procedures,vaccines and pharmaceuticals NOT being covered.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Plus I bet Hillary will slim down for the race

You don't seriously think Hillary Clinton still has political career options do you? She'll be lucky to avoid jail, and deserves worse.

Ron said...

I also wonder if we could have a POTUS with an obvious disability, like FDR's again.

rehajm said...

The objections to bariatric surgery for economic reasons are largely unsupported. There's evidence the costs of the procedure are more than offset by the benefits of not treating conditions associated with obesity.

Carol said...

Clinton started out chubby but lost weight toward the end of his presidency, in fact after he fell down the stairs (or something) in Florida.

I remember because at the time I thought, he's really going to pork out now, in rehab, because the guy does like to eat. But he surprised me and took the weight off and pretty much kept it off.

Maybe he got the surgery too??

rcommal said...

I wish him well and hope it works.

Pogo said...

Morbid obesity is associated with a lack of self-control, whether true or not.

That common thought makes their election less likely.
TV pictures 24/7 hammer the fat-unfit idea home.

Plus, we are in another age of health worship, the last one was the Victorian era. It is its own god, where the Victorians had a higher authority.

Either way, he's a sinner, and not the sinning the cool kids revere.

BDNYC said...

Didn't Clinton lose a bunch of weight after his heart scare? Didn't be then become vegan or vegetarian or something?

Whatever the story is, I don't believe it. Consider the source.

AprilApple said...

Chris Matthews knows that Christie will be the official R Hillary! shill.

That's why he's OK with it, fatty or no fatty.

Mitchell the Bat said...

The modern business suit is designed to conceal all sorts of bodily unsightlinesses.

I thought we all had to support same-sex marriage because so many of our fellow citizens like or love someone who's a homo.

I get along with a whole lot of fat people.

Bet I'm not the only one.

Mitchell the Bat said...

I used to get along with a whole lot of homos, too. Some of 'em were fat. But you get out of the arts and suddenly there aren't so many homos around any more.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Ron said...

I also wonder if we could have a POTUS with an obvious disability, like FDR's again.

I don't think we could have a one with a disability like FDR's, that is perceived as a weakness in an otherwise whole body. This includes both Bob Dole's and John McCain's war injuries.

I think we could see someone with a disability such as an amputee with an otherwise healthy body.

wyo sis said...

If he doesn't lose weight after the surgery he will look even worse in the self-control department.

If everyone's pet vice showed on their body like eating too much does we'd have a hard time finding anyone to run for any office.

wyo sis said...

If a liars nose grew bigger or a embezzlers hands grew or Bill Clinton's well, you get the idea.

Ann Althouse said...

I guess no one actually watches these clips, since not one comment refers to anything we said.

Am I wasting my time doing this kind of thing?

Astro said...

Even long before TV, fat Presidents were rare.

Long before TV, fat people were rare.
Compared to the US of 60+ years ago Americans are, on average, slightly taller but much fatter now.

When I was in Ireland and England last year I was amazed at how slender the women were.

Astro said...

I guess no one actually watches these clips, since not one comment refers to anything we said.

Am I wasting my time doing this kind of thing?


The ones with Robert Wright, yeah. He's irritating to watch and hear.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Am I wasting my time doing this kind of thing?

I am much less likely to watch a video than to read text. And I don't have the opportunity to watch video during the day, I have to wait until evening.

If you post a video clip early in the day, it would have to be a topic I find very compelling for me to bother watching it and commenting in the evening.

Jay said...

Well, Bill Clinton was hardly svelte,

The SNL skit with Phil Hartman pretending to be Clinton jogging (he goes to a McDonalds) is an all time classic, IMO.

rcommal said...

I don't think you are. I just haven't had a chance to sit down and watch it yet (or at least listen to it) but I will shortly.

AprilApple said...

Rock the fat? or rock the heart attack?

Marshal said...

Christie has next to no chance. If he gets any momentum the other candidates will run commercials of him calling opposition to unlimited immigration xenophobic and he'll be done. His policies aren't unreasonable, but he uses leftist hate language to describe any policy to his right. People on the right are not going to validate the left by making someone with their worldview their nominee.

AprilApple said...

Wright is in favor of health care rationing.

GROSS! Can't take it. Turn off...

Pogo said...

Can't watch a video at work. I don't have more than one minute of uninterrupted time. Pointless to try.

Marshal said...

Ann Althouse said...
Am I wasting my time doing this kind of thing?


Yes. If you want people to respond post a transcript.

AprilApple said...

The question is - will Christie be the grand example of by-pass stomach band surgery (or whatever it's called) and if so will his surgery force the topic of "it should be free" into the mainstream?
I agree with Ann,. Of course it will.

At some point, just about everything will need to be free and rationed. ...Out of fairness and the common good.
*shiver*

C Stanley said...

I guess I lack the right kind of viewer (IPad) because the video section is blank. That said, I probably wouldn't watch it anyway.

ricpic said...

Defattifying. Is English a great language or what?

ricpic said...

They're working Pogo to the bone! Stop Mayo oppression!!

Tank said...

Ann Althouse said...
I guess no one actually watches these clips, since not one comment refers to anything we said.

Am I wasting my time doing this kind of thing?

Yes, but that's JMHO. Like you, I prefer to read/scan text, which I can do in 1/10th the time (or less).

MadisonMan said...

Or will you poop out? Fat man!

LOL!

rehajm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tibore said...

"Ann Althouse said...
I guess no one actually watches these clips, since not one comment refers to anything we said.

Am I wasting my time doing this kind of thing? "


What, is responding to the title off limits?

dbp said...

To echo above comments: Posts that require watching a video, especially a long one, are better for the late afternoon.

At work, some video formats are blocked by IT and there isn't time to watch a lengthy video at work anyway.

rehajm said...

I guess no one actually watches these clips, since not one comment refers to anything we said.

From 3:05 you spend over three minutes objecting to the surgery for economic reasons and I provided a counterpoint with support. If 20% of a video you post doesn't qualify as 'anything we said', stop being so damn obtuse and get to the point already.

furious_a said...

I'm glad it was lap-band and not "male performance".

A husky-boy president would fit more comfortably in the Santa Claus suit when he's handing out ChristiePhones and ChristieChecks.

ricpic said...

If Christie's pulchritude may bar him from the presidency what about Hillary's age? She'll be pushing 70 in 2016. Yes, she's going to go under the knife before then but what percentage of women, and men for that matter, simply won't be able to pull the lever for an old broad? Foolish of the Dems to commit so thoroughly to her.

furious_a said...

I also wonder if we could have a POTUS with an obvious disability, like FDR's again.

The current President is innumerate, does that count?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

sinz52,

Yes, but Taft had the best post-Presidential career in American history. How many retired Presidents go on to become Chief Justices of SCOTUS?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Al Gore was a pretty chubby item in 2000, but that didn't stop him being nominated, nor winning the popular vote.

Marshal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann, I don't understand your argument in the dialogue. There are certainly reasons to be wary of bariatric surgery, but is "this demonstrates that I have zero willpower" really one of them? Look, telling someone with any sort of addiction that if only you were a better or stronger person you wouldn't be in this state is not precisely helpful. The reason 12-step programs actually do work is that their premise is that willpower alone doesn't cut it.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Also: How Newt Gingrich could have been President, how Obamacare is going to have to cover weight-loss surgery, and why Obamacare should lead to the legalization of marijuana.

I was lambasted on another bog (now private) as a homophobe for suggesting that Chaz Bono's sex change surgery was correctly funded by her mother and that such surgeries should not be covered by insurance. I don't think that the issue of Obamacare came up (I can't check because of restricted access) but it just goes to show how one is tarred a bigot if you even broach such ideas.

edutcher said...

sinz is right about Taft (300 pounds worth and Cleveland). Until the beginning of the 20th century, being fat was something of a luxury, but since the days of mass media generally (daily newspapers, etc.), you haven't seen anyone that heavy.

It's usually considered the mark of a lazy slob.

Carol said...

Clinton started out chubby but lost weight toward the end of his presidency, in fact after he fell down the stairs (or something) in Florida.

Largely because he had a snootful at the time.

Ann Althouse said...

I guess no one actually watches these clips, since not one comment refers to anything we said.

Am I wasting my time doing this kind of thing?


OK, how about Wright's idiot remark nobody had TV in the 50s?

'52, maybe, but '56?

Kids were watching Davy Crockett and the Lone Ranger by then. Everybody knew what Ike looked like.

And where did Wright get the idea he had a "squeaky" voice?

Jack Kennedy, maybe, but I still remember that staccato baritone of Eisenhower's.

AprilApple said...

I can only take small doses of Wright. Sorry, dude.

I like Ann's points about Newt Gingrich.

SHH said...

The issue is this is a self control issue. He has none, with regard to eating. Why would you elect him president; although our current skinny leader seems to have a spending addiction: draining the US treasury (which is bad enough)without tangible/concrete results.
I believe health insurance pays for this surgery as it may be less expensive than the medical problems encountered living with morbid obesity. It would be interesting to peruse data & yes, this drives health care costs upward. Perhaps we need inexpensive BASIC high deductible policies for the majority of common folk that don't cover issues like these that can be modified with behavioral approaches. This surgery is also fraught with numerous medical problems afterwards.
Christie may be trying to transition to some sort of victim status & attract to vote of people with similar problems. I don't think it will work...

Jeff Teal said...

I would think that attempting to follow your thought processes regarding the sequence of events by which stomach band surgery would become insurance approved would actually show that I was watching .A small point when you feel that you have wasted an hour plus prep time please multiply by the number of watchers.If yall could provide a transcript then we can avoid the entirely wasted time like the he said you said argument you got into.

mccullough said...

Christie's more conservative than Romney, McCain, and W. so at least the Republicans are moving in the right direction.

wyo sis said...

I want you to demolish Wright, but I only want to see that 2 or 3 minutes of the destruction. I can only watch at home on my computer when I have time.

I'm sure you're not wasting your time, because time spent schooling unthinking liberals is time well spent. Someone has to challenge knee jerk liberal thinking.

ken in sc said...

I don't watch videos online. Doing so would use up my megabytes and I would have pay Verizon extra. When I get close to my limit, I switch to Netzero dial up. Videos don't work on dial up anymore. Back in Windows 95 days, I could watch videos on dial up. It was slow buffering but it did work. Now they have improved things so well, they won't work at all.

Crunchy Frog said...

Buddy of mine just dropped dead of a heart attack two weeks ago at the tender young age of 53. He's not the first.

Yeah, he was fat. Unfortunately, so am I.

Baron Zemo said...

mccullough said...
Christie's more conservative than Romney, McCain, and W. so at least the Republicans are moving in the right direction.

No he is just the latest Rhino that the Democrats and the main stream media are trying to sell as the best Republican candidate. He has no chance in the Republican primary and he should not have any chance because of his shameful behavior with the Jug Eared Jesus before the election.

Peddle the "Christie is conservative" somewhere else buddy boy. Nobody is buying it.

Shanna said...

Buddy of mine just dropped dead of a heart attack two weeks ago at the tender young age of 53. He's not the first.

The last person I know who had a heart attack was a heavy smoker, and continued smoking after a stint.

That smoking thing didn't stop people from voting for the current president.

Ann Althouse said...

"Or will you poop out? Fat man!"

That was in the voice of a donor raising concerns.

I don't call him "fat man." I call him "jolly guv'nor."

ampersand said...

Since the days of tv we have had two bald presidents. In Ike's case though, his opponent also had a chrome dome. And no one ever elected Gerald Ford.

We haven't had a bearded president since Benjamin Harrison.
..............or maybe we have.