Tom Purcell, FloydReports.com
A week ago, Los Angeles Times editors asked readers if New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has the look of a president.
“Is America ready for a president who, frankly, doesn’t look healthy?” they asked.
Sheesh! You’d think corpulent Americans might catch a break in these sensitive times.
The editors explained that presidential image has always been important. That’s why presidents conceal bad habits — Barack Obama’s smoking, for instance — while portraying themselves as vigorous and fit.
But how do you conceal an Ernest Borgnine gut?
The editors explained that in the TV era, being fit and good-looking surely doesn’t hurt presidential aspirations; Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin (if she runs) are examples.
But the editors overlooked an interesting historical truth: Our chubbier presidents have run some of our leaner governments.
Washington Examiner columnist Gene Healy, commenting on a Slate article that examined chubbier presidents’ records, offered some interesting insights.
Of our four chubbiest chief executives — William Howard Taft, William McKinley, Grover Cleveland, and Zachary Taylor — “three governed lightly,” Healy said.
McKinley brought high tariffs and an unnecessary war, but Cleveland thwarted government growth by “wielding his veto pen more than any president before him.”
And Taft, who installed a plus-sized bathtub in the White House, didn’t….