Tobacco

Hope Smokes

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Barack Obama was on Meet the Press Sunday, and moderator Tom Brokaw put the president-elect's feet to the fire:

MR. BROKAW: Finally, Mr. President-elect, the White House is a no-smoking zone, and when you were asked about this recently by Barbara Walters, I read it very carefully, you ducked.

Have you stopped smoking?

PRES.-ELECT OBAMA: You know, I have, but what I said was that, you know, there are times where I've fallen off the wagon. Well…

MR. BROKAW: Well, wait a minute.

PRES.-ELECT OBAMA: …what can I tell…

MR. BROKAW: Then that means you haven't stopped.

PRES.-ELECT OBAMA: Well, the–fair enough. What I would say is, is that I have done a terrific job under the circumstances of making myself much healthier, and I think that you will not see any violations of these rules in the White House.

He thinks so, does he? Actually, I'm surprised there isn't some smokers' atrium somewhere on Pennsylvania Ave., given the fact that Central Europeans sometime stop by.

Whole thing here. Jacob Sullum attempted to divine the nexus between Obama's substance-consuming habits and his public policy back in May.


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  1. Let’s stay focused on really important stuff or at least on stuff that diverts attention away from what the infidels are calling market failures.

  2. It just occured to me that Barack Obama, or pretty much anyone with a cigarette dangling out of their mouth like that, now looks ridiculous to me.

    My whole life, it always just looked normal, but I guess things have changed. He looks silly in that picture. Comical. It’s like something his opponents would put up when they want to run a picture that makes him look dumb.

  3. Yes, Lefiti, that’s exactly what I dohere.

  4. That’s what 16 years of wannabe hicks in the big chair gets you. If I were POTUS, I’d spend every evening on the Truman Balcony sipping single malt scotch and smoking confiscated Cuban cigars, like Captain Kirk and that kinky Lawyer.

  5. It just occured to me that Barack Obama, or pretty much anyone with a cigarette dangling out of their mouth like that, now looks ridiculous to me.

    People with cigarettes nonchalantly dangling from their fingers, on the other hand, continue to look cool.

  6. He looks like a guy in a suburban dad blues band with Jim Belushi trying to look like Robert Johnson.

  7. So, Matt, have you done any analysis of possible flaws in market fundamentalism?

  8. He looks like somebody trying to look more bature and badass than he actually is.

    And failing.

    Not a good look.

    damaged justice,

    One in fifty people with cigarettes dangling from their fingers look cool – think Vince and Mia in Pulp Fiction. The other 49 look like they’re trying to look like Vince and Mia from Pulp Fiction.

  9. Eddie/lefiti,

    Your douchebaggery(real word?) knows no bounds.

  10. joe,

    Bring out the gimp!

  11. …but the gimp’s asleep.

  12. People with cigarettes nonchalantly dangling from their fingers, on the other hand, continue to look cool.

    You can look cool while taking a drag too.

  13. Much coolness here as well.

  14. So what, so the guy lights up every ow and then. I got a feeling he probably fires up a big fat one every once in a while to, so what! Give the guy a break.

    http://www.anonymity.pro.tc

  15. Now, that’s a picture you can’t find in the MSM.

  16. I really, really want to see a grainy photo, taken with a high-powered telephoto lens a la The National Enquirer, of President Obama smoking cigarettes in the Oval Office. That would be cool.

    Watched The Departed again over the weekend and was surprised to notice how much smoking is going on in the movie. The surprise came from the noticing – I just don’t see people smoking all that often anymore.

  17. “, and I think that you will not see any violations of these rules in the White House.”

    Unless you have x-ray vision.

  18. Man, how far the mighty have fallen.

    JFK could trip, smoke dubes, and drink booze while banging naked hotties out at the White House pool and this leader of the free world has to take abuse from that tool Brokaw about having a smoke?

    He should have told Brokaw right on national television that he’d put him on the TSA cavity search list if he didn’t shut up and mind his own business.

  19. No problem. I’m sure future photo editors will airbrush out of existence any and all pictorial references to Obama’s habit. Just like FDR.

  20. MR. BROKAW: Then that means you haven’t stopped.

    Gotcha! Network journalism at its finest. It’s almost like Russert never died.

  21. “Now, that’s a picture you can’t find in the MSM.”

    I thought you guys hated it when the “MSM” used faked photoshop pictures?

    Geez, you just can’t please some people!

  22. What kind of security risk is it having him sneaking out to the balcony for a puff?

  23. “No problem. I’m sure future photo editors will airbrush out of existence any and all pictorial references to Obama’s habit. Just like FDR.”

    Polio is a habit?

  24. Isn’t is supposed to be the 30’s again? He needs to get one of those looooong cigarette holders like FDR had. Otherwise, no one’s going to take his National Recovery Green Jobs Youth Service Act seriously.

  25. What kind of security risk is it having him sneaking out to the balcony for a puff?

    The security of The Children? ?

  26. Just like FDR.

    Actually, ed, it’s the other way around. It was the contemporary journos who protected the secret of the condition FDR’s health. Likewise for JFK’s pecadilloes.

    Nowadays every bit of evidence of FDR’s condition that exists is wide open to public scrutiny.

  27. Polio is a habit?

    Not any more.
    Dr. Photoshop discovered a vaccine.

  28. Smokers are the modern lepers. I can’t believe the president elect is a leper. I think tolerance for hyprocrisy (cognitive dissonance) is a feature of our political class, not a bug.

  29. Nowadays every bit of evidence of FDR’s condition that exists is wide open to public scrutiny.

    I doubt there were very many literate people at the time who didn’t know of FDR’s condition. I was speaking to future PCers who would airbrush out his cigarette holder or disguise his wheelchair in his official memorial .

  30. I doubt there were very many literate people at the time who didn’t know of FDR’s condition. I was speaking to future PCers who would airbrush out his cigarette holder or disguise his wheelchair in his official memorial.

    Magneto has a memorial? Go figure.

  31. Of course the MSM wants to play up Obama’s hypocrisy on smoking. It diverts attention from his hypocrisy on actual political issues.

    Remember how they referred to Obama’s unguarded comments at that closed-door fundraiser in SF as “Bittergate”, totally ignoring the far more revealing “cling to guns and religion” part of the comment? They know they can’t suppress information anymore in the Internet era. Their tactics are far more sophisticated now.

  32. As a former smoking addict myself, I think smokers deserve out compassion, not ridicule and shaming.

  33. I think Big Tobacco should start using that photograph in full spread glossy magazine ad’s. When the white house squeals, they could agree to stop in exchange for 4-8 years of not being screwed with.

  34. He should have told Brokaw right on national television that he’d put him on the TSA cavity search list if he didn’t shut up and mind his own business.

    I believe the concepts of shutting up and minding your own business are completely foreign to Our Masters.

  35. MR. BROKAW: Then that means you haven’t stopped.

    PRES.-ELECT OBAMA: Tom, hold on a sec there while I fire up some of my mind your own goddamn business and worry about your own fuckin’ self. I mean, holy shit, your big issue to hammer me on is whether the president slips a smoke now and then? That’s all you’ve got? Nothing about an economy circling the drain or something? Nothing on that scheming rat-fuck Putin and all the shit he pulls and what we’re going to do about it on our end? How about all these washed-up 1990’s motherfuckers that my own little Putin, Rahm Emmanuel, has got me stuffing my cabinet with?

    I mean, shit, I can recall a time when you guys did some real work and got all fired up over White House interns smokin’ something else. Yeah, you heard me, I said it.

    A man can dream, can’t he?

  36. I just don’t see people smoking all that often anymore.

    You don’t hang around much outside office buildings or bars, do you?

  37. “I just don’t see people smoking all that often anymore.”

    I see lots of university students smoking here in the People’s Soviet Republic of New York. To be sure, this isn’t inside the Holy City of New York itself, but in the suburbs, still part of NY state. It must take some dedication, because smokes in NY have inflated prices thanks to the taxes. Unless you can get cheaper cigarettes thanks to a connection who “found” some cartons “when they dropped off a truck.”

    “As a former smoking addict myself, I think smokers deserve out compassion, not ridicule and shaming.”

    I think it’s time to legislate some tolerance.

  38. …or disguise his wheelchair in his official memorial.

    I may be remembering wrong – it’s been a few years – but isn’t his disability one the dedicated theme of one of the outdoor rooms in the FDR memorial?

  39. If Obama himself is or becomes an anti-smoking zealot, I would see why this would be relevant. Otherwise, worrying about what the president-elect does with himself on his own time is irrelevant.

  40. On my one visit to the FDR memorial my comment was “Good God, this memorial is longer than his administration”.

    Jefferson, Lincoln, Washington – simple and good memorials. FDR – overkill.

  41. Couldn’t they be this insistent about something else, like the Constitution?

  42. “You know what I got for Christmas? Oh, it was a banner fucking year at the old Bender family. I got a carton of cigarettes. The old man grabbed me and said, ‘Hey, smoke up, Johnny.’ Alright? So go home and cry to your Daddy. Don’t cry here, okay?”

  43. robc | December 8, 2008, 11:47am | #

    On my one visit to the FDR memorial my comment was “Good God, this memorial is longer than his administration”.

    I liked it. It’s more like a park than a monument. You can stroll through it.

    Nice use of water features.

  44. Jefferson, Lincoln, Washington – simple and good memorials. FDR – overkill.

    The best memorial is the one that memorializes least.

  45. You know, it’s kind of cute to see people like Lefiti licking the boots of the powerful. What would governments be without adoring subjects willing to proudly serve their benevolent masters?

  46. I may be remembering wrong – it’s been a few years – but isn’t his disability one the dedicated theme of one of the outdoor rooms in the FDR memorial?

    IIRC, and I almost always do, in the design stage there was much wailing and rending of clothes about wheelchair depictions.
    The crippled handicapped differentially abled physically challenged(?)* were aghast.

    * My PC dictionary has not been updated for quite some time.

  47. Yeah, here we go.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:FDR_chair.jpg

    FDR. Wheelchair. Big statue.

  48. If a guy lies about his smoking habit, what else would he lie about?

  49. J sub D,

    If I had any traits in common with that wicked statist, I’d be aghast if this were publicly displayed too. I hope to God FDR didn’t like to eat pussy.

  50. If Obama himself is or becomes an anti-smoking zealot, I would see why this would be relevant.

    Yes, it’s preemptive, but not unwarranted. He’s the figurehead of the political party that has most of the folks with an anti-smoking agenda.

  51. If Obama himself is or becomes an anti-smoking zealot

    That’s horrifying–please don’t give him any ideas. Former smokers are some of the most annoying zealots. I have a feeling that he’s full of it and will likely have little to say about the issue. No way has he quit.

  52. Excuse me, President Nicfit?

    WHAT?! Jesus Christ!

    Um…the Japanse delegation is here.

    *sob* Why can’t you just leave me alone? I’m having a tough week!

    Smoke if you got em, Barack.

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