Fat Boy Republican Presidential Contenders: Ranking 'em According To Girth
Let's face it: With Americans getting portlier by leaps and bounds, we need a President who reflects our food-obsessed values. That's right: It is time again for a fat person to inhabit the White House.
It's been almost a century since our last obese leader, William Howard Taft, got stuck in the White House bathtub. Barack Obama, at 6 feet-2 inches and 165 pounds, is no William Taft.
Now most of you have probably not been paying much attention to Republican presidential primary politics. After all, only one candidate -- Newt Gingrich -- has officially declared, and there are months to go before voters head to the polls. Still, it's not too early to look over the contenders to see who the early foodie favorites are -- and by that, I mean the candidates who show the most enthusiasm for eating. The gauge used for this enthusiasm-factor is the size of their gut. Hail to the Beef!
Truth be told, it's a dispiriting field: Romney, Paul, Palin, Pawlenty, Daniels, Bachmann, and Huntsman may excel at double-talk, but there isn't a double chin among them. Luckily there are a few prodigiously fleshy candidates who can appeal to the massive masses. Here's our ranking:
1. Chris Christie
Although it looks as though the super hefty Christie, governor of New Jersey, won't be running, should he decide to toss his fat -- er, hat into the ring, he becomes the prohibitive foodie favorite. MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews remarked that Christie "should not wear white shirts," because it makes him look like a "moon over New Jersey." Matthews also noted that if Christie says "'I'm going to cut the budget,'" voters might well ask: "'How about starting with supper?'" C'mon Chis, overweight America is calling -- plus we hear they've got showers installed in the White House these days.
2. Newt Gingrich
Because Christie isn't looking to run, Mr. Infidelity steps in as the face-stuffer's frontrunner. While it's true that Trump and Herman Cain (CEO of Godfather Pizza) are hefty as well, neither has even the impossible long-shot chance of Gingrich. Newt's face alone is the size of a basketball, yet he used to be even fatter. In Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott's memoir, he recalls giving Gingrich advice prior to President Clinton's 1997 State of the Union address (Gingrich would be on the television screen behind Clinton): Lean forward as to minimize your girth. After that, Newt went on a weight-loss program and shed quite a few pounds, but apparently during the intervening years he's been cheating on that diet as if it's his wife.
3. Mike Huckabee
Huckabee could be the overweight person's Comeback Politician Of The Year. The former Governor of Arkansas famously shed 120 pounds some time ago, but looks to be trying to recapture the chubba constituency as his waistline is expanding with the speed of a Greyhound Bus on its way to Iowa. One potential skeleton-in-the-closet might be the book he wrote, "Stop Digging Your Grave With A Knife And Fork." That's no way to get the foodie vote!
Finally, we note with sadness that Haley Barbour, the rotund governor of Mississippi, has already dropped out of the running. Barbour tips the scales to what looks to be at least 300-plus pounds, and rarely campaigns without some foodstuff in his hand or mouth. Restaurateurs in New Hampshire and Iowa estimate losses in potential Haley food sales to be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Too bad Haley, you coulda been a heavyweight contender!
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Miami dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.