[I]n a nation in which 66% of the voting-age population is overweight and 32% is obese, could Sen. Obama's skinniness be a liability?So because Obama likes to work out and eat healthy, and God forbid, does not care for ice cream, it’s another sign that he’s “elitist” and “out of touch” with Americans, since we’re all fat and eat disgusting fried junk. We can’t relate to someone who buys arugla at Whole Foods, who doesn’t eat “typical” All-American fare like Cheese Whiz, who’s too much of a celebrity and superhuman since he doesn’t have to struggle with what to eat and constantly worry about his weight.
What an insult to the millions of Americans who not only have brains, but actually do care about eating healthy, who exercise, and to all the thin people out there. Those kind of preoccupations are obviously only for the wealthy and the famous. Gyms must be a coastal thing, since according to the article, it’s all the Midwesterners and Southerners (and female Clinton supporters) who have problems with Obama’s food and exercise preferences. And if you exercise too much, not only is it big news but the implication is you are vain.
The article touches on his recent Access Hollywood interview, other presidential “gaffes” with food, and how President Clinton’s oft-discussed McDonald’s habit helped him win voters back in 1992, especially in Southern states like Georgia and Tennessee, since they have a large number of overweight people.
Although Obama, “stays away from junk food and instead snacks on MET-Rx chocolate roasted-peanut protein bars and drinks Black Forest Berry Honest Tea, a healthy organic brew,” at times he has to pretend that he really, really isn’t that guy:
Lately, Sen. Obama is more careful. On a campaign stop in Lebanon, Mo., on Wednesday, Sen. Obama visited with voters at Bell's Diner and promptly announced, "Well, I've had lunch today but I'm thinking maybe there is some pie."Even though his smoking habit has gotten attention—although even that is considered a liability, since the percentage of Americans who smoke has decreased rapidly—apparently it’s not enough:
He settled on fried chicken and told the crowd he's become a junk-food lover. "The healthy people, we'll give them the breasts," he told the waitress. "I'll eat the wings."
Everything, especially in politics, is a lose-lose situation. If Obama was overweight and ate junk food, coverage would be about his health and all the millions of voters who would be turned off by his laziness and disrespect for his body, and Republicans would question how fit he is for the job, physically and mentally. With all the constant coverage on how unhealthy and fat Americans already are, there’s no need to criticize the candidate for taking care of himself and liking what he likes. Mike Huckabee won a lot of support for being vocal about his weight loss struggles, and became an inspiration to many. That’s the kind of initiative voters look for in presidents—and what many see in Obama.
Some voters say that even this adds to Sen. Obama's somewhat superhuman persona.
"I mean, really, who quits smoking and doesn't gain any weight?" says 30-year-old Stella Metsovas, an Obama supporter in Laguna Beach, Calif.