Chris Christie’s surgery, a stomach surgery to help him lose weight, has been the talk of the town this morning with many political analysts viewing it as almost absolute confirmation that the popular New Jersey governor is considering a presidential run in 2016.
The operation, which involved a gastric band being fitted to his stomach to help him feel full prior to over-eating, was performed in secret and under a false name in February. Christie has since admitted to the surgery, but says that he did it because of his family, who are reportedly concerned about the 50-year-old governor’s weight.
“I’ve struggled with this issue for 20 years,” he admitted to the New York Post. “For me, this is about turning 50 and looking at my children and wanting to be there for them.”
But Chris Christie’s surgery has many political analysts wondering if a potential presidential bid in 2016 is also part of the reason for the operation. Though seen by many on both sides of the aisle as a viable political candidate, his critics argue that no one will vote for him simply because he’s “too fat.”
Indeed his weight seems to be, at least to the media, Christie’s biggest weakness.
One unnamed political donor commented that the surgery was confirmation of a Christie run in 2016. “This means he’s running for president. He’s showing people he can get his weight in control. It was the one thing holding him back.”
Political strategist Rick Wilson agreed that the surgery would help his image in more ways than one.
“Frankly, in a crass political way, this brings him into [an area where people will say] this is a guy with four kids who cares about his family,” said Wilson, who commented that Christie’s obesity “clearly [went] beyond just [a lack of] discipline, it was metabolic and that I think is a significant step for people to say, ‘Look, he tried.'”
“This is a win-win for Governor Christie – on the one hand, health and family concerns take precedence over everything, and on the other, he’s also addressing a potential political issue should he seek higher office,” said GOP operative Brian Walsh.
Still, Christie is ever coy about his surgery, focusing on the family aspect and his health. When asked point-blank if his 40-minute outpatient lap-band surgery was a signal flare for presidential ambition, Christie replied: “It’s so much more important than that.”
He also said that he is experiencing success since the surgery, though didn’t comment on whether he had lost any weight. “A week or two ago, I went to a steakhouse and ordered a steak and ate about a third of it and I was full.”
Do you think Chris Christie’s surgery is an early sign of a possible presidential run in 2016? Sound off!
[Image via: L.E.MORMILE, Shutterstock]