ABC News

Chris Christie’s Weight: A Disqualifying Factor For The Presidency?

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was asked last night by Barbara Walters of ABC whether his weight was a disqualifying factor the Presidency in 2016.

His response was negative, with the comment that he has done eighteen hour days, particularly in the recent Hurricane Sandy crisis which devastated the shoreline of his state.

But his statement does not remove the concern about whether the 50 year old New Jersey Governor is healthy enough to take on the burdens of the Presidency in four years, and for a theoretical eight years beyond 2016.

William Howard Taft was our heaviest President at 325-350 pounds, and is famous for taking long naps in the middle of the day, and being much less active than his predecessor, Theodore Roosevelt, and his successor, Woodrow Wilson.

Grover Cleveland was the second heaviest President at about 250 pounds, and no other President has been anywhere near as heavy as Taft and Cleveland. However, Bill Clinton did have problems with weight from his fast food habits before and during his White House years.

It is believed that Christie is far heavier than Taft, and it is a serious matter, as to whether he would have a long life span, and could handle the pressures of the Presidency with such an obesity problem.

At the least, it would have to be required that Christie provide detailed health information, and if he refused, a la Mitt Romney failing to provide detailed financial information, then he should be eliminated as a potential Presidential nominee, as we need a vigorous, healthy person running for President!

Nine Months To Presidential Election, And Obama Is Over 50% Support Against Mitt Romney!

With nine months to go to the Presidential Election Of 2012, President Barack Obama has broken a barrier that is very significant.

The President has, for the first time ever in an election poll, the Washington Post–ABC News Poll, hit a majority of registered voters, with 51 percent to 45 for Mitt Romney, his likely GOP opponent. Obama had last been over 50 percent in May in a non election poll, when he was able to accomplish the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

At the same time, among all Americans, Obama has 52 percent to 43 for Romney, and among independents, Obama leads by the razor thin margin of 48 to 47, his first lead.

Obama is ahead of Romney on issues including who would better protect the middle class, handle foreign policy, and fight terrorism.

Romney is seen as out of touch with average Americans, and having not paid his fair share of taxes. But his business experience makes many voters feel that he could handle the economy better, and on job creation, the candidates are seen as equal. Of course, the good jobs report in January helps Obama, and if it continues, could give him a lead over Romney in later polls on economic policy.

The timing looks good for Obama to win the election, unless there is a major economic downturn, or a major foreign policy crisis that he is seen as mishandling.

Woodrow Wilson Coming Back Into Notice On The 155th Anniversary Of His Birth

Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States, was born on this day in 1856.

So on this 155th Anniversary, and as we enter 2012, there is a lot to say and comment about Woodrow Wilson.

Wilson has been under constant attack by conservatives and Republicans and by conservative talk radio show hosts. George Will of ABC’s This Week and Glenn Beck, formerly of Fox News Channel and still on talk radio, have led the attack, but there are many followers.

The attack is based on the fact that Wilson was a promoter of Progressive reform, including the Federal Reserve Banking system, the Federal Trade Commission, the Clayton Anti Trust Act, and the Underwood Simmons Tariff, which promoted free trade.

Wilson also promoted labor reforms and agricultural credits, so his administration became the most activist, interventionist national government we had yet seen.

This was followed up by the creation of massive government agencies to promote our efforts in World War i. And Wilson also advocated internationalism through the League of Nations, after having formed the first foreign military alliances in American history to fight the war.

Wilson, of course, also had controversial views, including opposition to women’s suffrage, and advocacy of a hard line racial segregation in unison with the Old South. He also advocated restrictions on civil liberties during wartime, and showed no tolerance for dissent, all very disturbing trends that he has rightfully been condemned for by anyone who has belief in basic values of fairness and tolerance.

Wilson was a very complicated person, and is being analyzed more now by all sides of the political spectrum, due to his relevance to present discussions and debates over the role of national government, and American involvement in world affairs after our tragic interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And, of course, we are coming up to the centennial of the Presidential Election of 1912, when Woodrow Wilson won over President William Howard Taft and former President Theodore Roosevelt, in what became a four way race including Socialist Eugene Debs, an election often referred to as the “Triumph of Progressivism”!

So we will be hearing a lot about Woodrow Wilson over the next year!

Des Moines, Iowa, Republican Presidential Debate On ABC Most Crucial Debate Yet!

Saturday night, there will be another in a long line of Republican Presidential debates, sponsored by ABC News, taking place in Des Moines, Iowa.

This is the most crucial debate yet, as it comes three weeks before the Iowa Caucuses, and at a time when the Republican Party is demonstrating its internal conflicts more than ever.

Former Speaker of The House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, surging in the polls, is receiving lots of opposition from “Establishment” Republicans and former House colleagues, and many conservative journalists, such as Peggy Noonan, see him as a horror for the party and the nation,

But there is no love lost for Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts Governor, in many ways reminding those old enough to remember, what the feeling was for Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1964, when the right wing was able to control the Republican convention, and nominate Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona for President, but leading to a total electoral disaster in the Presidential Election of 1964.

In many ways, the Gingrich-Romney battle is a replay of that election, except that Romney is trying to make himself LOOK more conservative than he really is, while Rockefeller made no attempt to declare himself a conservative.

The only person who still, if he does well in New Hampshire, might have a shot at the nomination, is former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, who in many ways reminds us of Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton, seen as an alternative to Rockefeller and Goldwater in 1964, but unable to overcome Goldwater.

The result was a total disaster for the Republican Party, and the promotion of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs. Hopefully, the country will be so disgusted with the Republican move to the far right, and the obstructionism of the House Republicans, and the anti labor Republican Governors and legislatures, and give Barack Obama the re-election victory he deserves in 2012!

The Herman Cain Phenomenon And Public Opinion Polls: A Parallel Universe!

Herman Cain has had one hell of a week, and yet, unlike Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, he goes up in public opinion polls, while Mitt Romney stays stagnant in his numbers, still only about one out of four Republicans supporting him.

Herman Cain does not know China has had nuclear weapons since 1964.

Herman Cain does not seem to care that his 9-9-9 plan would raise taxes on 84 percent of the people, while lowering taxes on the wealthy.

Herman Cain suggests that we build a fence between Mexico and the United States which is electrified, and also wants a moat with alligators in it to stop illegal immigrants.

Herman Cain says he is against abortion completely, but wants the woman to have the choice on ending pregnancies.

Herman Cain does not know anything about foreign policy, and makes fun of the name of an important ally in the Near East in the war in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, saying he does not know who its leader is and does not care.

Herman Cain believes that it is alright to sexually harass women in the workplace and that no one should be disturbed by this.

Herman Cain has made so many other inane statements and shown a tremendous lack of interest in details on public issues, and seems more interested in selling his book and improving his chances to make money on motivational speeches.

Through all this, apparently, many Republicans either do not believe the sexual harassment charges or think they are no big deal, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, so Cain’s ratings have improved.

It does not matter to these Republicans that Herman Cain has no knowledge or experience in government, and they seem to be willing to “wing” it and let an incompetent, stupid man become the leader of the free world, whose best credentials is that he headed a pizza corporation!

The ability of Republicans and many Americans to live in a “bubble”, in their own version of the “parallel universe” is mind boggling!

Will the American people at large be moronic enough to put into office a businessman who is no Wendell Willkie or Ross Perot, both men having had an intelligent, accomplished career before running for President?

And remember, neither Willkie nor Perot WON, and if Herman Cain somehow becomes our next President, God save the United States and the world!

Republican Party Seemingly On Suicide Mission, Based On Latest Poll On Presidential Frontrunners!

The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll shows strong evidence that the Republican Party is on a suicide mission regarding the 2012 Presidential Election.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has a wide lead over all others, and is praised for his experience, leadership, and good chance to compete with and defeat President Obama.

And yet, the Tea Party Movement within the party is very unhappy with Romney, and were he to be the nominee, they would be a major headache and impediment in his Presidential campaign!

Amazingly, a “non candidate”, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, runs second, and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann runs third in the poll. If Palin is not counted in the poll, Bachmann moves up to second, and Texas Congressman Ron Paul ends up third, with no one else in double digits!

However, Texas Governor Rick Perry, a possible candidate who is flirting with the idea of running, and claims God is behind him, has the next most support with 8 percent.

At this point, Tim Pawlenty, former Governor of Minnesota, and Jon Huntsman, former Governor of Utah, have been total flops, with Pawlenty having only 2 percent support, and Huntsman only 3 percent. It was felt just a couple of months ago that only these two men had a real shot at the nomination, other than Romney, but it has not turned out that way at all!

Instead, it is Tea Party radicals such as Palin, Bachmann and Perry that are competing with Romney, and that is becoming a point of fear and some hysteria among establishment Republicans, who can sense that their party is being destroyed by what is best described as the “cancer” of the Tea Party Movement in their midst!

Obama, The Middle Class, And Small Business: Poll Indicate Widespread Support For The President!

A new Washington Post-ABC News Poll indicates that the middle class and small businessmen see President Obama as supportive of their interests.

At the same time, the polls indicate that Congressional Republicans are perceived as in league with Wall Street financial institutions and large business corporations.

The middle class issue is won by Obama by 53 -35, while the small business question sees a 48-39 lead for the President.

Meanwhile, majorities across party lines see the Republicans as more concerned about big business and Wall Street.

One would think this would reverberate in Obama’s favor as the country tries to deal with the Debt Ceiling crisis, and will backfire on the Republicans, because the vast majority of the country is not in agreement with the Tea Party Movement that is controlling the House of Representatives majority, to the chagrin of Speaker John Boehner, although he has carefully avoided any comments on the subject!

Michele Bachmann: Mentally Unfit And Mentally Unstable To Be President!

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann may be surging in the polls, as compared to all other GOP Presidential candidates, but she has proved herself mentally unfit, as well as mentally unstable, to be President of the United States!

With her reckless use of myths and falsehoods and invocation of God telling her what to do in her life and career, she has demonstrated that she is loony and nutty enough to be a danger in the Oval Office, with the power and authority to unleash nuclear weapons!

With her insensitivity and narrow mindedness toward those she portrays as having the wrong views about social issues such as abortion, gay marriage, racial relations, and immigration reform, she has disqualified herself from being able to unite the country around a common unity!

A President Bachmann would cause even further division and turmoil than we have right now, and would lead us to a right wing fascist mentality toward those who don’t agree with the narrow view of evangelical Christianity that separates “them” from “us”!

Also, the pushing of ABC News correspondent Brian Ross by aides of Bachmann, when Ross tried to purse an answer to a question, is totally unacceptable behavior, and reminds one of Huey Long “goons” during the early to mid 1930s in Louisiana! The nation will not tolerate a President who permits such mishandling of media as Bachmann seems to have no problem accepting!

Finally, the issue that Brian Ross was trying to bring up is crucial as well: the confirmed report that Bachmann has suffered for 15 years from migraine headaches that are extremely intense and required medical treatment many times, with indications, denied by Bachmann, but confirmed, that these migraines incapacitated her for periods of time and required lots and all kinds of pills! To top it off, Bachmann claims the migraines are caused by high heels, even though there is no correlation ever noted by any medical doctor between high heels and migraines!

Sounds as if Bachmann is at it again, with loony and nutty explanations, that just add to the image that she is, more than ever, mentally unfit and mentally unstable to be Commander in Chief!

Will “It’s The Economy, Stupid!” Outweigh The Death Of Osama Bin Laden And Help Mitt Romney Against Barack Obama?

A month ago, President Barack Obama’s public opinion polls skyrocketed, following the successful elimination of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan.

Now, a month later, due to the unstable economy and lack of major job growth, and general economic pessimism, Obama has lost the majority support he had last month, and has slipped below 50 percent in the polls.

In the Washington Post-ABC News poll, Obama has slipped to 47 percent, and in a matchup with Mitt Romney, he is behind by three points, 46-43, emboldening the former Massachusetts Governor to believe he has an advantage for 2012, and that such an advantage will give him the edge for the Republican Presidential nomination.

The problem is that Romney might, for now, be ahead, and he might, realistically, along with Jon Huntsman, be the BEST candidate for the GOP, but that is no guarantee that he will win the nomination of his party or the election in November 2012!

The fact that he has stated his belief that global warming and climate change are a real factor, if not the sole one, in what is happening regarding weather and environmental conditions, will not win friends from the social conservatives.

Nor will his Mormon faith, the same problem of Jon Huntsman, help Romney, since evangelical Christians do not regard Mormons as Christians, but rather as a cult.

Nor will his Massachusetts health care plan, often compared to Obama Health Care, although he has carefully defended it, while saying he would not foist it on the nation as a whole.

Nor will his chameleon nature, constantly changing his views with the shifting political winds, with many seeing him as a moderate to liberal Republican in his past, but now claiming to be a conservative.

Nor will his slick manner, his seemingly perfect family and clean image, help him because it seems, somehow, contrived to many!

But will an economy with a high unemployment rate, poor housing prices, high gasoline prices, and a stagnating stock market, be enough to help Romney or some other Republican, and outweigh the national security issue, including the death of Bin Laden, and the fact that America is involved in fighting terrorism in FIVE nations by bombing and drones–Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, and Yemen–making Obama look tough on defense and security issues?

Just about 16 and a half months away from the election, and eight months from the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, the Republican Party has some hope, but many daunting challenges ahead, but then again, so does Barack Obama, to convince the nation to re-elect a President with high unemployment numbers and percentages, greater than since Franklin D. Roosevelt!

Forget Jon Huntsman! His Disgraceful Surrender To The Far Right Of The Republican Party!

When one thought about the upcoming Republican Presidential race, there was some hope that someone moderate might actually show principle and be an alternative to the extreme right wing of the party.

And this author had hope for Jon Huntsman, the former Governor Of Utah and President Obama’s Ambassador to China, as a possible alternative who, were he to win the nomination, could give the President a real race for the White House, and were he to win, would be acceptable as the occupant of the White House.

Well, such illusions have now been destroyed, by Jon Huntsman himself! And this is very upsetting!

Huntsman has now changed his view on climate change, on the economic stimulus, and the health care issue, and has told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News that were he in the House of Representatives, he would have voted for the Paul Ryan plan on Medicare, which would destroy Medicare as we know it in ten years.

The man may be charismatic, handsome, and appealing in an intellectual way, but he is a major disappointment by his abandonment of what he believed in.

His decision to move his unannounced campaign headquarters from Utah to Florida indicates he hopes to have an impact in the Sunshine State, but that indicates that he might even abandon his support of gay civil unions, as in Florida and many other states, the opposition to gay rights is still very strong in Republican primary voters, many of whom are evangelical Christians.

If Huntsman, who is Mormon, and must deal with that issue just as much as fellow Mormon Mitt Romney, hopes to gain evangelical backing, he will have to change his position on gay rights. Not that such a decision will guarantee evangelical support, but without such a switch, there is no hope at all of such backing!

So, disllusionment with Jon Huntsman just adds up to a sense of hopelessness that there is any chance of ANY Republican being mainstream in the traditions of the party in the age of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, and EVEN Ronald Reagan!

WIth Mitt Romney backing away from “Romneycare”, and Jon Huntsman surrendering to conservative extremist views, the GOP is a shell of its old self, and gives progressives no hope that there could be any sense of acceptance of ANY Republican Presidential winner in 2012!