Does President Obama Still Smoke? Gibbs Isn’t Saying

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At today’s White House Press Briefing, the subject of President Obama’s smoking habit came up a couple of times, as related to the signing of a new anti-smoking law.  Gibbs was his usual forthcoming self.  Here’s the first shot at it:

Q    Today when the President made some comments around the smoking and tobacco act, I noticed the President didn’t refer back to any of his personal experiences at all with smoking struggles.  I’m wondering if smoking continues to be a struggle for the President.

MR. GIBBS:  I think the President would likely tell you, as I think many — anybody would that has smoked or been addicted to smoking, that it is a life-long struggle.

Q    Is it a daily struggle for him?

MR. GIBBS:  Well, since days are comprised within your lifetime, I would — I think that’s covered.

White House reporters are a stubborn lot. Hence, the laser-like follow:

Q And just one more, a follow-up on Dan’s question, to ask it just a little more directly. Do you know — does President Obama still sometimes smoke?

MR. GIBBS: Again, I would simply tell you I think it’s a — struggling with nicotine addiction is something that happens every day.

And, since we’ve never met a topic we couldn’t beat to death:

Q One more on smoking. During the campaign, then-Senator Obama chewed Nicorette with some regularity. Is he still doing that?

MR. GIBBS: I saw him chewing gum earlier today. I don’t know whether — I didn’t ask him —

Q I mean, generally.

MR. GIBBS: I assume so, yes.

As a smoker, let me hazard a guess at the answer:  Hell yes, he still smokes, and I’m glad he does.  With a job like his, I don’t need him all jumpy and annoyed.  Sure, I’ll bet he chews nicotine gum most of the time, but he’s gotta get fed up sometimes.

Still, by another standard, I could conclude the opposite.  I never see any of the press office staff smoking, or any of the Secret Service.  Actually, I think I’m the only person I ever see smoking at the White House, so where’s he going to get a cigarette when he needs one?  He can’t just do a “Five Guys” and head out to a liquor store for a photo op.

Interestingly, while looking up a story for this entry, I learned that that endlessly-used-by-PUMAs-et-al picture of Obama smoking is actually a fake.  Weird that I never bothered to check before, because it totally looks fake.  I guess it didn’t make sense to me that someone would fake a picture of something the guy admits to doing.  I feel like a sucker now.

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I suppose the President’s smoking, or lack of same, will have to remain a mystery.  I wish him luck with it, but I hope he doesn’t begrudge himself when things get really tough.  Just keep one under glass, next to “the button.”

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2 Comments

  1. “Just keep one under glass, next to “the button.””

    Bwwwahahaha!!!! Almost fell out of my chair over that one.

    Great blogging sir! Plan to follow more of you.

  2. …he could just have the Secret Service agents on his detail with packs of cigarettes secreted about their persons, and cadge one or two at night, when no press are around, and smoke them on the portico, hiding the telltale glow the old-fashioned way: by hiding it with his hand.

    It’s not impossible! Hell, if soldiers could smoke in warzones in WWII and such without getting picked off by snipers (some of the time anyway) I bet the President could figure something out if he really wanted to. But would he want to feel like a high school kid sneaking out at break to the alley behind the school with a pack of Listerine strips to cover the scent?

    *removes tinfoil from head*

    Also the Obama on the left in that picture-juxtaposition is Evil Obama. He’s gonna stab that dude with his cigarette. Oh, I think I missed a bit of tinfoil from up there. Much better.


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