‘Time’ editor defends Christie ‘elephant’ cover

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, celebrates winning a second term.

The executive editor of Time explained the magazine’s cover headline about a story package on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie that labeled him “the elephant in the room.”.

“Well, he’s obviously a big guy,” Michael Duffy said during an appearance Thursday on MSNBC’s Hardball With Chris Matthews. “He’s obviously a big Republican. But he’s also done a really huge thing here this week. He stood astride the Republican Party and said, ‘Stop. We don’t have to make our whole appeal about narrow base issues.’ And that campaign showed it with the demographics you talked about.”.

Many people interpreted the “elephant in the room” line as a swipe at Christie’s weight. A Salon article, for example, said that Time “opted to forgo the high road and run with a fat joke instead.” A post on Time’s Swampland blog said the reaction came from “critics and fans alike — with many choosing to focus on a single interpretation of the cover.”.

Christie cruised to a second term in Tuesday’s election and is widely believed to be headed toward a 2016 presidential bid. Duffy said the GOP governor made his campaign about the “cult of personality” and is much like a “cultural figure” in the way of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and Bill Clinton when they burst onto the national political scene.

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