The Gabfest on Obama's Syria Options, the Post–Boston Bombings Surveillance State, and Chris Christie's Lap-Band Surgery

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
May 10 2013 12:48 PM

The "Is Anyone Too Fat to Be President?" Gabfest

Listen to Slate's show about Obama’s “red line” in Syria, the modern surveillance state, and Chris Christie's weight-loss surgery.

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To listen to the discussion, use the player below:

In a live taping of the Slate Political Gabfest that was co-hosted by WBUR and the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Mass., Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss the malleability of the “red line” President Obama defined for an intervention in Syria, and a possible ratcheting up of the surveillance state after the Boston Marathon bombings. They also debate whether New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's lap-band surgery is purely about improving his health, as he says, or whether presidential politics also played a role.

Here are links to some of the items mentioned during this week's show:

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Emily chatters about books to read as we reflect on the Cleveland kidnapping case. She recommends Room, by Emma Donoghue, The Never List, by Koethi Zan, and The Collector, by John Fowles.

John chatters about hot hands.

David chatters about Before Midnight.

Topic ideas for next week? You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Podcast production by Mike Vuolo and Andy Bowers. Links compiled by Jeff Friedrich.

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and the author of Sticks and Stones

John Dickerson is Slate's chief political correspondent and author of On Her Trail. Read his series on the presidency and on risk.

David Plotz is the CEO of Atlas Obscura and host of the Slate Political Gabfest.