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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, on August 28, 2012 during the Republican National Convention. Has Christie's lap band-related weight loss increased his odds in a potential presidential run?
For years, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been mocked and criticized for weighing upwards of 300 pounds. The health and fitness of political leaders - especially those with rumored presidential aspirations - isn't necessarily superficial.
When Christie faced a punishing schedule during Hurricane Sandy, former White House doctor, Dr. Connie Mariano, told CNN, “I’m worried he may have a heart attack [or a stroke.]" Many in the Garden State are perturbed at the suggestion. They have witnessed Governor Christie's boundless energy and stamina for decades. Christie told the New York Post he underwent the lap-band surgery at the urging of family and friends, not for political optics. "For me, this is about turning 50 and looking at my children and wanting to be there for them," he says.
Does this increase the odds Christie is seeking a presidential run? Does this increase his chances of a successful bid? Did Christie take the easy way out by having surgery instead of losing weight by dieting or working out? Is this a case of "Damned if you do and damned if you don't?"
Dr. Namir Katkhouda, Director of the Bariatric Surgery Program at USC’s Keck School of Medicine
Matt Friedman, Political reporter at the Star-Ledger newspaper in New Jersey