I apologize for seeming to neglect the current presidential campaign, while rallying to the cause of our beleaguered senior senator, Bobby Menendez, whose friend, the eye doctor, has just been indicted in Miami. Fans of enduring friendships in politics might want to know Dr. Salomon Melgen was charged with 76 counts of health care fraud and other alleged crimes, and faces 610 years in the can, if the sentences are imposed consecutively. As they say in Hudson County, and elsewhere in New Jersey, he should live so long. Whatever happens, it will be real test of the bonds of friendship.

Food for thought—and indigestion

As the 2016 presidential races heat up—a run for the roses that I had earlier described as a scenario that reminded me of Snow White (Hillary) and the Seven Dwarfs (Dopey, Preachy, Sleepy, Sneezy, Smarmy, Sleazy and Ted Cruz)— there have been many exciting events unnoted in this unblog.

Hillary stunned the nation this week by announcing she is a candidate, arriving in Iowa by Conestoga wagon, immediately sitting down for frank open discussions with everyday Americans who apparently were recruited by her staff, including the ordinary Joe Biden’s chauffer.

Meanwhile, Rafael (Ted, as he prefers to be called) Cruz is claiming to be the driver of the GOP clown car, inviting Rubio and uncounted number of other clowns, to join him on the drive to Iowa and New Hampshire to stop Hillary’s Victory Tour!

The marathon became even more exciting when one of our leading pundits, the well-known radical theorist, Ann Coulter, suggested a way to differentiate the aspirants is by measuring the candidates by their height. This breakthrough in political theory occurred at the Center for Advanced Political Science, the “Sean Hannity” show on Fox, where Coulter theorized that prominent Republicans like Kentucky senator Paul and Florida senator Rubio might be too short ever to be elected president.

“Rubio and Paul are as tall as my iPod,” Coulter opined. “You can’t run a short candidate.”

Scholars plunged into the race with tape measures and yard sticks and discovered the following, which I pass on to undecided voters:

The front-runners, by height, are Jeb Bush and Scott Walker at 6′3″. Donald Trump is also at 6′3″, depending on whether he is wearing his hairpiece. Rick Perry is a contender at 6′1″.

Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie stand in at 5′11″.

Then there is the short list:

Mario Rubio 5′9″…Rand Paul 5′8″…Hillary Clinton 5′7″…
And Ted Cruz (a big secret) is also a Hillaryesque 5′7″, with or without shoe lifts.

A famous Republican candidate in the 1860 GOP race, Abraham Lincoln was 6′4. He could have made the Illini varsity basketball team if anyone had thought of installing a peach basket on his or her log cabin.

By injecting the height issue into the campaign, it occurred to me, that the Ann Coulter theory opens the door for the next major development in advanced comparative analysis of presidential timber: weight.

Who is the weightiest candidate of them all?

I realize this might be unfair dirty politics given the fact that my candidate in the race – I will be right up front about this, reminding you that I’m chairman of the Christie for President in 2024 campaign – has a reputation of being overweight.

Without putting all of those GOP huskies on the scale, we can all agree that Gov. Christie is the presumptive leader in body weight.

His Rotundity, as we call him back home, had been the poster boy for fast foods nutrition, a leading growth industry in our state. New Jersey, you should know, is the fast food capital of the nation. There are more fast food joints in a mile on Route 22 per capita than in some Third World countries. Excess calories are our leading export.

But what you probably don’t know—and something the people of New Hampshire may have noticed this week of showing the bod at town hall meetings— is that the governor has slimmed down. He already has lost one of his three chins.

This is how Christieologists know that even though he denies he is running, or even jogging, for president, he may actually be planning to change his mind in May or June, which gives him even more time to slim down.

An astute student of presidential politics, the governor knows there hasn’t been an overweight president in the White House since William Howard Taft (1908-1912).

The pictures in the papers or on TV of the governor not running in New Hampshire have not been photo shopped.

What, you didn’t notice this change in campaign strategy? As early as September, 2014, when the governor was still a serious non-candidate, a debate raged in the New York Times and elsewhere about how much weight the governor lost in preparation for his non-candidacy. On Sept. 24, the Times weighed in reporting “Christie told donors at a fund raiser at the Connecticut home of billionaire David Koch that he had lost 85 pounds, and knew he needed to slim down further if he wants to run for president in 2016.”

Gov. Christie said the number “85” was incorrect.

Without playing the numbers game, I can report His Rotundity is down to a suit size 50 Cadet.

How did he do it?

Informed sources tell me he has been on a diet. The secret of the Chris Christie Miracle Diet is eating less.

But I don’t mean to disparage the contribution of the bariatric surgeons who reportedly stapled his stomach.

What does height or weight and food consumption have to do with the sincerity of the candidates? Not much, although George Bernard Shaw has said

There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”



Marvin Kitman
April 17, 2015

Marvin Kitman was the media critic at Newsday. His column, “The Marvin Kitman Show,” began on Dec. 7, 1969, a day that still lives in infamy, according to network executives. On April 1, 2005, he stepped down from his position of power. As he explained, “Newsday gave me a tryout, and after 35 years we decided it wasn’t working out.” He is the author of nine books.