Saturday, August 30, 2014
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Christie undergoes secret weight-loss surgery

I thought the governor had been looking skinnier.

Christie undergoes secret weight-loss surgery

FILE - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie answers a question in this April 30, 2013 file photo taken in Long Beach Township, N.J., during a town hall meeting. Christie secretly underwent gastric band surgery in February to try to lose weight at the urging of his family. Christie told The New York Post for a story in Tuesday´s May 7, 2013 edition. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)
FILE - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie answers a question in this April 30, 2013 file photo taken in Long Beach Township, N.J., during a town hall meeting. Christie secretly underwent gastric band surgery in February to try to lose weight at the urging of his family. Christie told The New York Post for a story in Tuesday's May 7, 2013 edition. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie has lap-band surgery Video: N.J. Gov. Chris Christie has lap-band surgery

For complete coverage in Tuesday's Inquirer, click here.

I thought the governor had been looking skinnier. 

In a story headlined "The Weight Is Over," The New York Post reported this morning that back in February, Christie had lap-band surgery, resulting in a gradual weight loss. Sources told the Post that he has lost about 40 pounds.

Christie did not do this in preparation for a 2016 presidential run, as is already being widely speculated. He said he did it because of his family.  “I’ve struggled with this issue for 20 years,” he said. “For me, this is about turning 50 and looking at my children and wanting to be there for them.”

Lap-band surgery involves placing a silicone tube around the top of the stomach, limiting a person's appetite. He said he had the surgery in the morning and returned home that afternoon. “A week or two ago, I went to a steakhouse and ordered a steak and ate about a third of it and I was full,” he told The Post.

The surgery was performed Feb. 16, according to The Post. On that day, a Saturday, Christie had no public schedule, records show. It is unclear if he transfered power to Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno while he was undergoing surgery, which would have involved general anesthesia. 

The surgery likely happened in New York City, and the governor has said in the past that if he's just crossing state lines for a few hours, he simply calls Guadagno to let her know she's in charge. For longer trips, his counsel sends letters to legislative leaders.

Three days after the surgery, Christie had two public appearances, so it apparently didn't slow him down for too long.

Christie's admission is getting high marks from the usual places, where MSNBC's "Morning Joe" crew congratulated him. But on Twitter, there's questions about secrecy: Should constituents have the right to know when their chief executive is going under the knife for major surgery? The Post said that Christie entered the surgery center under a false name.

My friends at Capitol Quickies noted that Christie hinted at the surgery in an appearance in March, saying there was a plan for him to lose weight, and "you will all be able to notice."

The operation included placing a silicone tube around the top of his stomach, where it restricts the amount of food he can eat at one time and makes him feel fuller, faster.

“I know it sounds crazy to say that running for president is minor, but in the grand scheme of things, it was looking at Mary Pat and the kids and going, ‘I have to do this for them, even if I don’t give a crap about myself,’ ” Christie said.

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