Do We Really Want a Quitter as President?
Barack Obama's off-again, on-again cigarette smoking may tell us something significant about how he would govern. Then again, maybe not.
June 29, 2008 - 12:00 am
It has been said that every cigarette one smokes takes seven minutes off of one’s life.
I have always believed that particular statistic came from the fact that it takes about seven minutes to smoke a cigarette (yes I have timed it) and that some person somewhere decided that if you spent seven minutes doing it then you are therefore seven minutes closer to death.
Now if that’s the case I wonder how long a typical morning constitutional takes off one’s life? My grandfather was renowned in our family for his morning ritual, which started early with coffee and a newspaper over a light breakfast and ended with a magazine and a book of matches in the water closet. After three quarters of an hour catching up on what was going on in the world, and doing that year after year, I guess you could say that sitting on the throne cost him thousands of hours off his lifespan. It would be an interesting actuarial problem to try and figure the difference in time lost between smoking a cigarette and attending to nature’s call as both activities could be considered unproductive and somewhat odoriferous.
Now you may be wondering why I bring this up. It’s because Obama has reportedly quit smoking — again. There are rumors he has been sneaking smokes and reports of him smelling like an ashtray. The candidate for Smoker in Chief has admitted that he “fell off the wagon” (which is a phrase I thought was only reserved for drinkers, but I guess they have a smokers wagon also) but then he “got back on.”
I admire Obama’s desire to quit a habit that could be detrimental to his health down the road, but I have several problems with his ongoing attempt to kick the nicotine monkey to the curb. Chief among them being how he is going to personally replace the tax money he was paying into the system by buying smokes? And beyond that, do we really want a quitter as President.
Now for fairness sake and full disclosure I have to tell you I smoke. I enjoy my morning puffs with my cup of Joe and I know how relaxing and calming that cigarette can be when one is stressed to the max. Given that Obama decided to quit when he was undertaking the most stressful job one can attempt to secure makes me wonder what he’s going to do to alleviate that stress if he wins the presidency now that he is no longer lighting up. Will he substitute chewing on White House pencils? Perhaps those perfectly manicured nails will be bitten down to the cuticle. Do we really want a president who has to sneak out to the Rose Garden to alleviate his nicotine cravings?
Besides, as only a smoker can tell you, there are times when going off alone to have a cigarette is like taking a mini-vacation — such as getting away from the old lady when she gets crabby.
Now I am not saying Obama’s wife is crabby, or can be crabby, or has ever at any time ever been anything but a sweet and loving woman who is proud of her country (finally) but IF she were to get crabby at some point and Obama felt the need to take a five minute breather to preserve that relationship (like every other man in a relationship has done at some time or another) he would have a handy built-in reason for walking outside and getting away from the old shrew. (Note; I am OFFICIALLY NOT calling Michelle Obama an old shrew here, if anything she’d be a middle aged shrew, if I were calling her a shrew, which I am most definitely not doing, so please save your vitriol and nasty letters.)
Now as for Obama being a quitter I am upset that he would cave to the pressure he may have felt to quit smoking before the campaign started. Whether it was for image reasons or because he could be in a position to set an example, it doesn’t matter. Folks on the left are pretty hateful against smokers, and maybe that would have cost him some votes. It’s those folks on the left that have pushed the restrictions on smoking that have swept the globe (or at least the liberal parts of the western world) and those folks on the left that are always coming up with new and inventive ways to control people because we’re just a bunch of idiots that don’t know what’s best for us.
Seat belt laws? The left.
Helmet laws? The left.
Safety labels on every danged thing in sight? The left.
Folks on the right support people making their own decisions about how to live their life. So they get Obama to give up a habit that he freely took up, probably thoroughly enjoyed and one that helped the economy I might add – and for what?
To make him look like a quitter? Oh that wasn’t their goal. I am sure they wanted him to appear as someone who cared about his health. Forget the health of those around him. You can smoke and not have your loved ones catch so much as a whiff of tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide, or any of the 851 other ingredients in processed tobacco. Instead they showed him to be someone who caved to political correctness. Is this the man you want dealing with despots like those that run Iran or North Korea? Especially since Kim Jung Il is a smoker himself and it could prove to be a huge breakthrough in diplomacy if the American president could make like Fred MacMurray in Double Indemnity and sexily light both cigarettes while Kim makes goo goo eyes at Obama like Barbara Stanwyck.
Also, Obama smoking would go a long way towards helping him in the south, where smoking is almost a way of life. In fact, if he was a smoker he could have won the Kentucky primary but I bet the folks that hounded him into quitting didn’t think of that one huh?
He was lucky to win North Carolina (the largest tobacco producer in the country) but he also lost Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Maryland, all fairly large tobacco producers and I wouldn’t be surprised if folks in those states decided to vote for Hillary simply due to the fact that Obama gave up on them by quitting. Maybe those anti-smoking zealots that support Obama should stick THAT in their pipes and smoke it, so to speak.
Frankly I’d have more respect for the man if he told the handlers who hounded him into quitting to go take a flying run at a rolling donut, that he was in charge of his life not they and he’d smoke whenever he felt like it. So before you folks go running off on election day to usher in the Reign of Peace the Obamessiah promises us remember he can’t tell the folks around him how he’s gonna run his life, so what makes you think he’ll be any different in deciding how to run the country?
All this talking about smoking has made me want a smoke, so before I go I just have this to add.
I’ll take wagers that Obama goes out and gets himself a pack if he loses the election, and if he wins I’ll bet that within six months of being sworn in he’s back smoking like a chimney.