Thursday, June 25, 2009

Do You Care If Your President Smokes?!?

As if Barack Obama didn't have enough to worry about, now he's being assailed as a hypocrite for signing anti-smoking legislation, while acknowledging that he still takes a pull of menthol every now and then.
At his press conference this afternoon, President Obama, who calls himself a "former smoker," acknowledged that he still occasionally falls "off the wagon." The president said that he does not smoke in front of his kids or the rest of his family, and compared his situation to that of a recovering alcoholic.

Mr. Obama invoked Alcoholics Anonymous in discussing grappling with his craving for cigarettes.

"I don't know what to tell you, other than the fact that, you know, like folks who go to A.A., you know, once you've gone down this path, then, you know, it's something you continually struggle with, which is precisely why the legislation we signed was so important, because what we don't want is kids going down that path in the first place," he said.

The president yesterday signed legislation granting regulatory responsibility over tobacco products to the Food and Drug Administration. He complained in the press conference that he is asked about his smoking "every month or so," but said he understands because the topic is "an interesting human interest story."

This was the first clear response the White House has offered on Mr. Obama's smoking since he took office. Mr. Obama also teased a reporter for tying the question to the legislation he signed Monday, which he said is focused on children, not adults. "You just think it's neat to ask me about my smoking," the president said.
I sorta like how Obama chin checked this nosey assed reporter the other day.

Dang, this was only about 2 degrees removed from that infamous "Black Bush" sketch on Chappelle's Show.

Where's Dave when you really need him?

I think this is a lot of fuss over nothing. While I find smokers absolutely reviling, all things considered it's not the worse of vices to have. I need not remind you of Bill Clinton's favorite stress reliever.

Still, just as Obama quit smoking before the height of the Democratic campaign, acknowledging that smoking sends a shaky message to voters, I wonder if his relapse is indeed sending a message. Like it or not, many people associate smoking, much like stuttering and biting nails, as a nervous habit that conveys a lack of self-control and discipline, something we never like seeing from our leaders. I heard some Conservative wingnut say that Obama smoking is worse than Mark Sanford's cheating because smoking kills more people each year. So while it's clearly not our business to critique the actions of an otherwise completely healthy guy, I wonder that ya'll think his smoking habit conveys.

Question: Are you concerned that the President still smokes? Does smoking convey a lack of self-control or self-confidence? What brand of menthol cigarettes do you think Obama sends his weedcarriers out to cop?

Obama Acknowledges Occasional Smoking Habit [CBS]

Obama Smoking Hypocrisy: Obama Tobacco Bill [RightPundits]

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