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But in a nation in which 66% of the voting-age population is overweight and 32% is obese, could Sen. Obama's skinniness be a liability? Despite his visits to waffle houses, ice-cream parlors and greasy-spoon diners around the country, his slim physique just might have some Americans wondering whether he is truly like them.
"He's too new ... and he needs to put some meat on his bones," says Diana Koenig, 42, a housewife in Corpus Christi, Texas, who says she voted for Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.
"I won't vote for any beanpole guy," another Clinton supporter wrote last week on a Yahoo politics message board.
Sen. Obama drew cringes on a campaign stop in Adel, Iowa, in July 2007, when he asked a crowd of farmers: "Anybody gone into a Whole Foods lately and seen what they charge for arugula?" The upscale supermarket specializing in organic food doesn't have a single store in Iowa.
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."
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."
I don't know who he thinks he's fooling, especially after you read about that uber-healthy menu he set up for the DNC. Barack: Don't let them do you. I know you were praying that those wings weren't fried, and we both know some people are still going to want to slap you with a bottle of Crisco. Besides, the pundits used to joke about Gore's weight years ago, and they said Bill Richardson was too fat to be president. How did their presidential bids turn out? In the end many of them are more pressed about your complexion than your frame, so if you worked the phrase "no pork in my fork" into your lexicon, don't backtrack now.
This has got to be one of the stupidest issues of the ever growing list of stupid issues related to the 2008 presidential election.
And ya'll wonder why I wrote the Skinny Swagger Salute. I will say that it gives me hope that I, too, can become President. I'm not that far away from Obama. I couldn't do any worse than Bush.