From a mile away, a blind man could have seen this coming … at night … in sunglasses. That the media would turn against New Jersey governor Chris Christie as soon as he stopped beating up John Boehner and being useful in aiding Obama’s re-election was as easy to predict as the sunrise. It was also just as easy to predict — as I did only a few weeks ago –that the media would attack the Governor’s girth.
To make me look like some kind of genius, enter CNN’s Jim Acosta:
Potential 2016 presidential candidate Chris Christie may be able to take the punch lines about his waistline. The popular New Jersey governor made light of his weight in an appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman” Monday night.
“I’m basically the healthiest fat guy you’ve ever seen in your life,” Christie joked.
But one medical expert on presidential health cautioned Christie’s obesity is no laughing matter.
“I’m worried he may have a heart attack. I’m worried he may have a stroke,” former White House physician Connie Mariano, M.D. said in an interview with CNN.
Want to know who else is a likely 2016 contender fighting a lifelong weight problem (and recent health issues serious enough to delay her testimony on Libya)? Hillary Clinton. And at the age of 65, she’s also fifteen years older than Christie. So if CNN’s concern is an overweight president keeling over dead in a bowl of rocky road, I look forward to breathless reports on Madam Secretary’s life expectancy.
But this has nothing to do with media concern over Christie’s health. What this really is about is crafting a Narrative that will dog Christie over the next four years and help to defeat him should he threaten any Democrat’s chances at assuming the presidency — especially The! Historic! First! Woman! President!
When Barack Obama took office, he was an admitted smoker and a one-time cocaine abuser. Remember all those stories about what cocaine can do to the heart? Yeah, neither do I. I do remember the media calling such talk racist, however.
Christie needs to understand that, as time passes, the media’s only going to get more brutal over the issue of his weight. The closer he comes to 2016, the less hostile he’s going to be towards the GOP. Which means that the media will like him less and then do to him what they did to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (another Republican the media found useful until it didn’t): set their Journolist on “destroy.”
Christie’s weight will also launch a thousand narratives outside of life expectancy. After that meme wears off, the media will move to his lack of discipline and the millions of children likely to die with a portly presidential role-model.
In the end, like Romney’s wealth, the media will use Christie’s weight as a weapon to distract, annoy, and define. Weight will likely be the weapon of choice to tie Christie up in knots, distract from his message, and dominate any and every interview. No matter what Christie says about policy, the talking point and pull-quote from every interview will be his answer to the weight question.
Quick flashback: Acosta’s the same reporter who asked Mitt Romney how he would “assure blacks” he’d “be their president” should he beat Obama.
You can’t make this stuff up, folks.
Should Christie lose the weight? Of course. Is his (and Hillary’s) health fair game? Yep. But the media’s breathtaking double standard and the way in which they’re going to use the issue of weight as a one-sided partisan political weapon is fair game for Big Journalism.
And if you dont think a false media report about Christie having a heart attack will be the 2016 October Surprise, you know nothing about the state of media today.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC