Humility laced with a bit of self-deprecation is a political virtue, at least according to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
, who embraced his weight and poked fun at himself during a Monday night appearance on the "Late Show" with David Letterman.
Christie, whose bulging belly has become a defining characteristic, appeared willing to make fun of his weight, which in the past has been a touchy issue for the boisterous, no-nonsense Republican governor.
After sitting down in the guest seat, with some obvious difficulty fitting into it, Christie was asked by Letterman if the numerous jokes made on the show at his expense upset him.
Christie responded by removing a donut from his suit pocket and taking bite of it.
After the laughter subsided, Letterman pressed the issue of Christie's weight.
"All kidding aside, is it an issue, or is it not an issue and you tell me how you see things?" asked Letterman.
"Well, I only care if you're funny. I mean from my perspective, if the joke is funny, I laugh, even if it's about me. If it's not funny I don't laugh. But I've never felt like it was anything that really bugged me that much, no," said Christie.
"Now what percentage of the jokes have you found funny?" continued Letterman.
"About 40 percent," responded Christie.
The governor went on to point out two Letterman jokes in particular that he found funny:
"'Celebrity birthday today — Chris Christie turns 50. He blew out the candles on his cake, and he wished for another cake,'" Christie recited.
"And I don’t know if this is one of your best ones, but I think it’s very topical given what went on [Super Bowl Sunday]," Christie continued. "'A billion dollars will be spent on potato chips for Super Bowl Sunday, and that’s just at Gov. Christie’s house.'"
Christie's willingness to joke about his weight Monday night was in stark contrast to the Barbara Walters interview from early December.
In the interview Walters asked the governor, "There are people who say that you couldn't be president because you're so heavy. What do you say to them?"
Christie responded, "That's ridiculous, I mean that's ridiculous — I don't know what the basis for that is."
Christie, who is considered to be one of the leading Republican presidential candidates in the 2018 race, enjoys an extremely high favorability rating in New Jersey of 74 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll
released in late January.
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