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Monday, October 3, 2011

Short, fat, bald politicians

Not many of them are there? At least, at the national level.

I've been thinking about this because there's been a lot of discussion about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's weight and whether America would elect a fat guy as president. We generally don't, but we also don't elect bald guys and short guys either.

During my lifetime, only Bill Clinton leaned towards being hefty among presidents, but I don't think many considered him fat. Eisenhower was the only elected bald president, and he twice defeated another bald guy, Adlai Stevenson. Yeah, Jerry Ford was bald, but was never elected to the office. Short guys don't get much of a chance either as the shortest one in my memory was Jimmy Carter who actually was about the US average in height. He looked short and slight next to Reagan, however.

None of these characteristics have anything to do with intelligence and judgment, and I'm sure there are short, fat, bald men (and short, fat women) who would make fine presidents, but they may never get a chance to prove it.


  1. Those are very interesting observations. So do they even get as far as the pre-selection for the party? I'm guessing that the power drivers, the image makers, are the ones who are the gate keepers for not allowing the "un-wholesome" through the first rounds even. We still keep the fat and balding but I have noticed here in Australia that anyone in contention for senior positions gets a personal makeover of spectacles and eyebrow trimming.

  2. Tanya, potential American presidents announce their candidacy and enter their party's primary elections. Those with the physical characteristics mentioned have not even announced recently, as if they feel they have no chance, I suppose.

    Four years ago, Gov. Mike Huckabee lost a lot of weight and announced he was running for president. He did ok in the primaries but not good enough to win the nomination, and then started gaining the weight back.

    Our current Vice President, Joe Biden, has been reported as making noises of running for president in the future and has had hair plugs because he was balding.

    There seems to be a general but often unspoken acknowledgment that being fat, bald, or short are such big disadvantages that those people either do what they can to correct those physical characteristics or don't even try.

    Thanks for writing.