Is Trump well served by an extremely overweight spokeswoman?



Would it be appropriate for President Trump to have a red, sweaty alcoholic for a press secretary? Or how about an individual who smoked five packs of cigarettes a day and had a voice like Charlie Rangel? No? Then what about a woman who chooses a lifestyle that leaves her extremely overweight?

It's not a theoretical question because that describes President Trump's deputy press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

For most people, being overweight is a choice. And a bad one, that comes with all sorts of consequences such as diabetes and heart disease. Huckabee Sanders isn't just a few pounds overweight; she makes Hillary Clinton, often derided as "Her Thighness" in conservative circles, look like a waif. Huckabee Sanders easily weighs over 200 pounds, and probably much more.

That's why I wonder if she's a good role model for a press spokesman. A press spokesman needn't be pretty (though it helps) or handsome (ditto). But a press spokesman should have charisma. A grossly overweight person does not have charisma. A grossly overweight person distracts from their own message. When I watch Huckabee Sanders at a press conference, it is hard to ignore the "elephant in the room", and it's her. She's an unwitting poster girl for a very unhealthy lifestyle, and I think that makes her unsuitable for deputy press secretary (or press secretary, as she is rumored to be in grooming for).

Overweight people can work in government or most fields of endeavor. But most actors or models or spokespeople who are hired are rarely overweight. In these fields appearance matters. That's why Trump would be better served with a spokesman, who, while not necessarily attractive, at least has charisma. Imagine how the press would hang onto every word if Patrick Stewart or Ian McKellen or Michael Fassbender were press secretary.

But when Huckabee Sanders talks, her appearance distracts from her message. One doesn't have to wade very far into the comments section of a fawning WaPo article about her to find unflattering comparisons to large ladies who shop at Walmart wearing tight pajamas that are one size too small.

We are constantly told not to judge people on their looks. But in a field where looks matter, having Huckabee Sanders be the face of the Trump administration is not my idea of "big tent" Republicanism.



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