OK, so Obama hasn't been able to totally quit smoking yet. Who's surprised? Some people think his attempt to duck the question in the Tom Brokaw interview is a symbol of Bigger Things:
If we can't get a straight answer out of Barack Obama about a personal habit like smoking, are we to expect any different with the economy, taxes, defense, spending, or past associations?
I've struggled with with smoking all of my adult life, so I have some sympathy for Obama on this issue. The reasons people hedge on the question are, A) they're in self-denial and always want to think they're doing better than they actually are and, B) they get tired of talking about the issue in general and, specifically, they're weary of taking crap from those who wonder why they don't have the willpower to just up and quit. I'm doing pretty well in my current effort to quit, which means I'm in the single digits, down to six or seven cigarettes a day. So why don't I just do that last little push and give up those, too? Well, just shut up about it, OK? Like that.
I do wonder how the press is going to cover this. I did a quick search of all the images available and didn't find anything in the news services -- I had to go to Google images. So I'm guessing this is going to be more like hiding FDR's paralysis from the public than it's going to be like the National Enquirer chasing down Paris Hilton to capture embarrassing moments.
Too bad. It would be comforting to see a president as beset by human weakness as the rest of us. Obama assured Brokaw there would be no violation of "White House rules," which I presume means he will be puffing away on one of the buiding's many balconies. I wonder if some of the house staff who smoke will join him. Wouldn't that make a great picture, all of them, the great and small, huddled together in a wreath of smoke?
I can just imagine Obama at some high-level meeting meant to rescue the country's economy or avert some international disaster, wishing whoever was talking would please, please, get to the damn point so he could sneak out for a quick one. That's a better image, I can assure you, than the one I have in my head of Bill Clinton whenever I hear Yasser Arafat's name mentioned.