Chris Christie Fat Jokes: They Make You Sound Stupid

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 5 2014 10:45 AM

Chris Christie Fat Jokes: They Make You Sound Stupid

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This guy's lost a lot of weight.

Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Ezra Klein voxplains why people like Joel McHale shouldn't make fun of Gov. Chris Christie's weight anymore. Among the reasons are that "fat-shaming" is sociologically proven to hurt people at all levels of society, and that it's basically "bullying" even without the social science. But I align myself with Klein's final point. Christie is not all that fat anymore. Here, via Paper magazine, is a picture of Christie at the 2011 WHCD. For extra cruelty, I picked the one that placed Christie next to the tiny Aziz Ansari.

And here, via Klein and Vanity Fair, is Christie with Joel McHale.

That's a much thinner man! He's even traded the fat person's trick of posing at a slight angle for the newly thinner person's trick of posing straight on. The much-publicized gastric bypass surgery that Christie underwent in 2013 has reduced him from a mountain of a man to a mere hilltop. Remember those anecdotes from Double Down, about Mitt Romney "cackling" at the sight of Christie without his suit jacket? Remember the vast bulk that used to occupy the space between Christie's belt and kneecaps? Gone, done, irrelevant.

My point is not so much that it's rude to mock Christie's girth. My point is that it makes you sound like you don't pay attention. Your image of the guy is based on pictures from 2012 or so. You have not taken the effort to seek him out or cover him since then. You're part of the reason, actually, that Christie gets so many compliments on the trail now. (When I briefly covered his 2013 glide to re-election, I heard dozens of hoi polloi remarks to that effect.)

So be current. Christie is only about as heavy as Mike Huckabee, and by now people have figured out to stop making jokes about that guy. Unlike Huckabee, Christie lost his weight via a surgical procedure that shrunk the size of his stomach and sometimes leads to "dumping syndrome." Come on—do you not see the potential there? Bowel movement jokes! Any comedian who can't find material there should be hosting another dinner.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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