Roger L. Simon

Christie May Be Fat, But Matthews Is Fat-headed

Chris Matthews must be seriously scared of Chris Christie. Otherwise, why would the fuddy-duddy liberal bother to make this decidedly un-PC statement, slamming the NJ governor as too fat to be president?

“Chris Christie is moon over New Jersey, he should not wear white shirts, I tell you that….I saw him the other day and I was amazed by it, he must be 300 plus, and that’s something he’s just gotta deal with because you’re not going to say, ‘I’m going to cut the budget,’ well, how about starting with supper?”

Har-dee-har-har…. Actually, it’s quite the reverse. Part of Christie’s appeal is his weight. In this phony age when Michelle Obama warns that child obesity is a “national security” problem, a man of the governor’s girth is a relief. He seems like a real person, not some politically coiffed individual from the good liberal world of, say, John Edwards. And I write this as something of a fitness fanatic who uses the ellipse machine, does his push-ups and sit-ups and plays tennis four times a week. (Want to try some singles, Matthews? We could put a few grand in escrow for the winner, if you want.)

The truth is the MSNBC host made himself into a ludicrously dismissible blowhard ages ago and perhaps he was using Christie to generate a little publicity. But what’s really interesting is the New Jersey governor himself, for me the most magnetic political figure on the horizon in some time. Whatever his avoirdupois, he’s fast on his feet with ripostes for the press and his adversaries. He also comes off as remarkably honest for a politician, just the sort of person who might stand up to various interests (public unions, etc.) and make the mammoth budget cuts necessary to save our country.

If this is true, my only question about Christie is…. Has he peaked too soon?