Chris Christie 40 pounds lighter after surgery
In New Jersey's governor's race, Chris Christie will campaign before voters as the incredibly shrinking incumbent after he said he underwent lap-band stomach surgery in February.
A slimmer Christie will also mean that there might be fewer questions about whether the U.S. is ready for an obese president for the first time since William Taft -- that is, if the surgery is successful and he keeps the weight off by 2016.
"For me, this is about turning 50 and looking at my children and wanting to be there for them," he told The New York Post in an interview about the procedure.
Since the surgery, Christie has dropped about 40 pounds, the Post reported.
In his first run for governor, Christie contended with rival campaign ads that used videos highlighting his girth. Nonetheless, Christie won; polls show him with a comfortable lead in his re-election race.
A March 26 poll from Quinnipiac University showed that 64% of New Jerseyans are comfortable with an overweight candidate for governor.
"We found he was a lovable fat man," said Maurice Carroll, director of Quinnipiac University's Polling Institute.
"If it helps him get elected president, more power to him," he added.
Heath Brown, assistant professor of political science at Seton Hall University, said there are political benefits to a lighter Christie other than looking better in a suit.
"[Presidential] candidates want to project a very healthy and vigorous persona," Brown said. "I think it has less to do with cosmetics and has more to do with how vital the candidates actually are."