Columnist: Christie’s Weight, Like Obama’s Race, Will Help Him Win Votes

Politico Magazine’s Daniel Allott doesn’t think New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s weight will be a political liability if he runs for president in 2016. In a column published Tuesday, Allott suggested Christie’s ample girth could be “an asset in 2016, not the liability everyone assumes it is.”

“A fat nominee could be exactly what a Republican Party needs to shed its image as out of touch with ordinary Americans,” Allott wrote. 

To prove his point, Allott pointed to President Barack Obama’s biracial background, which he said helped the candidate get ahead. Allott believes Christie’s weight could have a similar effect.

“When it comes to conveying empathy, appearance matters. As a black man, Obama was able to connect instantly with the estimated 35 million non-white voters before they ever considered his political ideology or competence. Christie’s size would allow him to do something similar with overweight voters,” explained Allott. 

Allott also offered some unsolicited advice for Christie and his advisors about how they might capitalize on the governor’s size.

“If Christie runs for president, he might be tempted to downplay his size. But he should do the opposite,” Allott wrote. “His campaign should leak photos of Christie working out; he should shed the suit jacket in public as much as possible; and he should talk openly about his weight—the challenges, successes and failures he experiences as he tries to slim down.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hunter Walker is a national affairs reporter for TPM. He came to the site in 2013 from the New York Observer. He has also written for New York Magazine, Gawker, the Village Voice, Forbes, The Daily, and Deadspin. He can be reached at hunter@talkingpointsmemo.com
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