TRENTON – In the same month he pulled a jelly doughnut from his suit pocket on David Letterman’s the “Late Show” and assured the TV host he’s “basically the healthiest fat guy you’ve ever seen,” Gov. Chris Christie secretly went under the knife to trim down.
At the time, less than two weeks before his surgery, the governor joked, telling the comedian after wiping his face that he “didn’t know this [interview] was going to be this long.”
For Christie followers, it wasn’t anything new.
The self-described “wallflower” doesn’t shrink from conflict when skirting around an issue is not an option. He dives in head first.
“When there’s no way he can avoid trying to talk about something he usually tries to attack it head on,” said Patrick Murray, director of Monmouth University Polling.
“He takes the negative and makes it a positive,” he said, adding Christie’s favorite line of attack is usually humor.
And 11 days before the lap-band surgery was no exception to the rule.
However, behind the scenes, Christie has obviously been concerned about his girth.
He cut a sympathetic figure when Barbara Walters asked him about his years-long struggle with trimming down. The governor has also told reporters that there’s “always a plan” to trim down, but would add that it’s never been easy.
Despite assuring The New York Post the underlying reason for the weight-loss surgery was his family, not the presidency, Christie knows full well his weight is an issue, Murray says.
“It’s just something that you can’t avoid in terms of conversation about his qualifications for being president,” Murray said. “He’s one that understands that.”