Obama's Image is Everything

Last week on David Letterman, Barack Obama talked about kicking the habit. The Washington Post’s Reliable Source wrote about it the next day. Letterman asked him point blank “Are you still smoking cigarettes?�

He replied Nicorette.

Can you imagine? Trying to quit smoking with the whole world watching. And truthfully, from a public relations stand point, it would be all about damage control if he picked up a cigarette. Today’s society doesn’t want a smoking president.

If he fails, and picks up a cigarette, the message he will be sending to America is that he is weak. He isn’t strong enough to be president. And then what, if by some amazing chance, he got elected as a smoker, would he be outside the White House smoking waving to tourists as they walk by? Getting that last drag in before he hopped on Air Force One.

I doubt America would stand for a smoker as their leader, especially as more and more states are enacting bills to prohibit smoking in bars, restaurants, even outside, next to your dog, beside your cat, in your own home. Having a smoker in Office would clearly go against the messages the people want to hear.

Smoking is dirty. I can say that because I smoked, a lot, over the last 15 years. What message would Obama be giving the younger generation, the young and impressionable, if our President was a smoker.

But what if he doesn’t. What if the Nicorette works for him and he kicks his smoking habit once and for all. Then it’s one more point in Obama’s category. Overcoming his weakness will actually increase his ratings. Now he’s even more of American’s choice because, yet again, he’s shown he’s just like everyone else.

Quitting smoking is hard, and as I said, I can’t imagine doing it in the limelight. I quit because I thought I had asthma. I got hypnotized, which I never expected to work. As I was going “under� and repeating the mantra, ‘I am a nonsmoker and I will be a nonsmoker for the rest of my life,’ all I could think about was smoking that next cigarette.

But I didn’t. And I didn’t the next day. And I don’t have asthma, so technically I could start smoking again. And someday I might. I miss it like crazy sometimes, that dirty, filthy disgusting habit. But smokers are my people. So Obama, whether he’s a smoker or a nonsmoker, he’s my people too.

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