Today’s Gail Collins’ always-humorous essay, titled “Fitness for Office,” touches on the relationship between politicians’ weight, fitness and their governing record. Lots of smiles. Here are some of the best excerpts.
Governor Chris Christie (who is obese) says he’s very healthy and that “there is a plan” for losing weight. But there is also a plan for totally funding the state employee pension system. I wouldn’t hold your breath.
There’s a national accord that thin is generally better than fat. However, it’s hardly the biggest issue when you’re picking a governor. There are citizens all over the country who would trade their more compact leaders for Christie in a second. Just ask somebody in Pennsylvania. Or Illinois. The guy in Florida has the physique of a greyhound and the state is totally miserable.
In 2006, New Yorkers elected Eliot Spitzer, a man who could not possibly have looked fitter. We probably had the best B.M.I. in the National Governors Association. Just over a year later, he was gone in a sex scandal. You had to wonder if exceptional leanness might occasionally be accompanied by exceptional friskiness. As we all know, a governor in South Carolina once vanished for what his staff claimed were body-toning hikes on the Appalachian Trail when he was actually committing adultery in Argentina.