Chris Christie, New Jersey's RINO governor, has been a busy fellow recently. Fresh from alienating Republicans by assisting in Obama's re-election (and then praising Glorious Leader Obama half a year later for keeping "every promise" Obama made to Christie on Hurricane Sandy relief), Gov. Christie has revealed that he secretly underwent gastric band weight-loss surgery. To anyone who has seen the picture of Christie genuflecting before a haughty Obama on the Jersery Shore, the reasons for Christie's decision are obvious. The man looked lumpen and absurd compared to the sibilant stick-insect that is Barack Hussein Obama – though no less absurd than he did appearing on late night television to poke fun at his own weight problems.
Christie told Brian Williams that he "did not want to take the risk of becoming unhealthy and the ramifications that would have for Mary Pat and for my four kids. And as you know, I still have children that are in elementary school, so I got a long road here as a father, and I don't want to miss any of it." The report describes Christie's weight loss since the February surgery as "noticeable."
Less than six months ago, however, Christie was still deeply in denial, insisting that he was not too fat to be president. The Raw Story quotes ABC News and Barbara Walters' interview with Christie, who said, "That's ridiculous [that I'm too fat to be president]. I mean, that's ridiculous. People watched me for the last number of weeks in Hurricane Sandy doing 18-hour days, so I don't really think that would be a problem." But anyone who saw Christie try and fail to sit in the guest seat on Letterman while eating a donut could see that Christie is morbidly obese. That's incompatible with serving in what is arguably the most stressful political post in the world, which is Christie's ambition: The man wants to be president, and his stomach surgery is an attempt to make that possible.
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The site Lapband.com explains that gastric banding "is a minimally invasive weight loss procedure. Unlike sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass, the LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System involves no use of metal surgical staples, no amputation of any part of the stomach, nor any cutting of the intestines. ... The surgeon places the band around your stomach using long, thin instruments. A small camera allows the surgeon to see inside your body as he or she performs the procedure."
The idea is to restrict the stomach's capacity, making it more difficult to eat as much while also helping patients to feel full and stay full longer. Side effects range from problems with the band to reflux, dilation of the esophagus and other horrifying prospects. Should Christie lose an extraordinary amount of weight very quickly, he may require additional surgery, such as for excessive loose skin.
The problem with all stomach surgery options for weight loss is that few of them are the magic bullet they are touted to be. Nearly half of all patients who undergo laparoscopic gastric banding have to get the bands taken out after complications such as "erosion," in which the band migrates through the stomach wall and into the stomach. According to Thinner Times, when this happens, "bacteria from the stomach enter into the capsule that mutually forms around the band. The infection then travels along the tubing into the pocket around the subcutaneous port. Thus many patients who develop erosion first notice pain, redness, and swelling in the vicinity of the access port. … When the band erodes well into the stomach, food can bypass around the band. The patient can eat much more than before." While not an emergency – the band is simply removed in many cases and re-banding performed – erosion represents the failure of the banding technology.
More significant, however, is the percentage of patients who get gastric surgery for weight loss ... and then power through the band, regaining all of the weight that they lost (and more). The Daily Mail cites both Brazilian and German studies supporting this assertion: "In fact, 63 percent of patients put weight back on within two years of their operation, according to one Brazilian study of 782 patients. Meanwhile, a German review of studies on weight-loss surgery found 30 percent of patients regained their lost weight between 18 and 36 months. As a result, growing numbers of patients are requesting a second operation. In a Dutch study of patients who'd had gastric banding, a third needed the operation redone after five years and half after 10 years." Among the high profile celebrities who have lost, then appeared to regain weight after gastric surgery are Star Jones, "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson and singer Carnie Wilson.
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While style will almost always supersede substance in politics, Christie's weight isn't his biggest problem. While he has (or had) significant support in New Jersey and among "moderates," Christie is a Republican in Name Only. He is not a conservative; he is not even loyal to the party. His reaction to Hurricane Sandy and his embrace of Obama just prior to last year's election arguably stalled Romney's momentum and helped bolster Barack Obama's campaign. Christie attacked the NRA after Sandy Hook and refused to fight Obamacare in New Jersey. The Daily Intellgencer proclaims him "basically a Communist." When he's not bullying homeowners (with profanity) to make them accept eminent domain encroachment on their property, he's attacking the Republican majority in the House. He is a Republican in the same way John McCain is a Republican. That is to say, Christie gets media attention by paying lip-service to his "disagreements" with liberal policies, all the while attacking his party and governing to the left.
Fat or skinny, Chris Christie is an unctuous, vulgar slob whose politics are "progressive" and whose attitude is classless. As president, Christie would be no better than Obama. He is not the man any right-thinking voter should want in the Oval Office – regardless of whether he can fit in the chair.