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Lots of talk in the media this week about Chris Christie and his weight, a topic on which he is a little touchy. Well, so am I. So is just about everyone in America who struggles with excess pounds.
And I don't believe in blaming people for their weight, because there are so very many factors out of a person's control, things that only make obesity worse. (Like our GMO'd, HFCS-saturated Frankenfood.) So this isn't fat shaming. (Except for the fat between his ears that makes him act like a wingnut douchebag. Sorry, couldn't resist!)
After Hurricane Sandy, he was running all over the central and northern New Jersey coast, telling reporters how he was just fine and how it proved he was healthy. Well, there's a big frickin' difference between the North Jersey coastline (about 100 miles) and the entire United States.
I was the press secretary on a Philadelphia mayoral campaign, and let me tell you, those four and a half months were the most stressful thing I ever did -- and by that, I mean the physical stress. Down time is extremely rare, every hour of the day is scheduled and you're always on the run -- or putting out fires. It is incredibly stressful. (It was the only time in my entire adult life that I drank. At lunch. When there was enough time to eat, I mean.)
If I was lucky, I got to bed by midnight and was in the office at 8 a.m. And if I was really lucky, the campaign manager didn't wake me up at 3:30 a.m., screaming over the phone about how a local news outlet covered our candidate. I was usually part of the entourage when the candidate did an appearance, and was sitting in the audience every time he was on a panel. (There were a lot of them.) I went to the town halls, the neighborhood forums, the spaghetti dinners.
When the election was over, and our candidate lost, I crawled into bed and stayed there for weeks. I didn't even read a newspaper for six months -- I had to detox. And I decided then and there that I would never work on a campaign again. I didn't think I'd survive.
And unlike presidential campaigns, I wasn't flying all over the country.
I remember reading somewhere that the reason you see so many inexperienced young reporters on the White House beat is that they were the only ones healthy enough to tolerate the campaign lifestyle and follow their candidate wherever he went, and that if their guy won, they automatically got the promotion. (I also read that the more experienced reporters just refused to do it. I can relate to that!)
During his 2008 run, Barack Obama was quoted as complaining about how exhausting his schedule was, and how much he wanted a day off. (That's how I knew Newt wasn't a serious candidate -- when he and his wife took a vacation at the height of primary season. Just. Not. Done.)
Chris Christie is the guy who took a limo because he couldn't walk the 100 yards from his helicopter to his kid's baseball game. This is not a guy who's going to be able to travel all over the country for the kind of insane two-year campaign cycle we have now. I just don't believe he's physically capable of it. Hell, neither am I.
So unless he suddenly loses a whole lot of weight and gets in shape, I'm not going to take him seriously and neither should you. He may mount a campaign, he may hire people, but I seriously doubt he can get the job done.
This ain't fat shaming. It's plain old common sense.