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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Gail Collins, "Fitness for Office": What About Rosenthal and Friedman?

Does your girth in any manner impact upon your personal code of ethics or soundness of judgment? Sure, compulsive overeating or binge eating disorder can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and certain kinds of cancer, but do extra pounds or kilograms render someone unfit for government service? We're not talking about an Ironman Triathlon.

In her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Fitness for Office" (, Gail Collins writes:

"But about Chris Christie. He’s also being talked about as a possible presidential candidate. Now there’s a physical challenge for you. Have you noticed what the job has done to Barack Obama? We aren’t thinking about the 2016 election yet, out of deference to national sanity. When we do, we will have to take the fitness matter seriously."

Indeed, government is what you make of it. The job has turned Obama into a physical wreck, or is it the cigarettes? As observed by Kathleen Parker in a Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Hillary Clinton and the ghosts of Benghazi" (, Obama didn't seem to take recent events in Benghazi too close to heart:

"Americans got a clearer picture of what transpired last Sept. 11 during testimony Thursday by retiring Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Panetta said he personally delivered the news to Obama that the consulate in Benghazi was under attack during a 30-minute briefing that also included Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The president said, 'Do whatever you need to do to be able to protect our people there,' and that was that. He and Panetta didn’t speak again that night — and neither Dempsey nor Panetta spoke to Clinton at all."

Were a gangly, cigarette-smoking Obama to be replaced by a hefty, donut-eating Christie, this would again mark another swing of the American political pendulum, but would we really need "to take the fitness matter seriously"?

Closer to home, Gail, who is also no featherweight, might want to take another gander at Andrew Rosenthal, editorial page editor of The New York Times, and at Thomas Friedman, whose chin has gone the way of the dodo bird, before indulging in another obsessive, Seamus-style series of attacks against Christie's corpulence.


  1. Unofficial WH spokesperson, Thomas Friedman lets us in on the official policy towards Syria: “you-touch-it-you-own-it-so-don’t-even-touch-it”.

    To avoid lethal consequences, the same policy should apply to donuts and cigarettes.

  2. Christie is the worst possible example as a President. Not unlike atheletes, the whether he likes it or not. Eating that donut on letterman slaps obesity, the biggest problem in america, right in the face. He is a pig and has no business representing anything other than NJ

  3. Also comparing cigarettes to obesity is a joke. There is relatively zero healthcare costs associated with smoking. You smoke 50 years, get cancer, die in six months. With obesity, youre fat by age seven and then dependent on chronic meds for life. Tons of money there. This is the only reason smoking is so demonized. quit smoking, get fat, get medicated and the healthcare industry flourishes. its a great business modle.for sure.