Obama and Smoking

Obama struggles with the cigarettes.

As you know, I’ve admired Obama since he began his presidential campaign.

It’s not because I agree with everything he says.

I don’t.

It isn’t because I think he’s infallible.

He isn’t.

I don’t think he’s a prophet, or a messiah or a redeemer.

He’s none of those things.

obama_smokingIt’s just that, for the first time I can ever remember, there’s a world leader who might — just possibly — have done some of the things I’ve done, listened to some of the bands I’ve enjoyed, wished for some of the things in his life that I’d have wanted, and stepped over some of the same lines that I did when I was younger.

You know those lines: the ones drawn in chalk by people we used to call Straights.  Serious people, but not serious in a serious way.  Just serious in a boring, settled, humourless, bullshit way. People working so hard at being grown up and hiding their insecurities that they had no life and didn’t want you to have one either.

People utterly unlike us, until Obama came along.

I know Obama wears a suit, unlike me, but I also know that he hates having to wear it, just as I do.  I know why he decided to become president of the USA: it was because he couldn’t be Bruce Springsteen, and I also know that was his joke, not mine, but I like him for it.

I like him, though he’s often wrong, and even though he heads a gigantic and dangerous world power, I can’t help liking him on a personal level, with about as much intensity as I detested his predecessor, GW Bush.

I envy him as much as I like him, but there’s nothing to be done about that. I envy his depth and breadth of intellect, but I like him for that too.  If I had to make a choice like his, I’d become Bruce Springsteen, because I could never be Barack Obama.

All right then.  I could never be Bruce or Barack, because I’ve never achieved anything like either of them, except this one thing.  Obama admits that he finds it hard to stop smoking, and you know, it only increases my affection for the man.  Not only is he laid back and erudite and generally, all-round cool, but on top of that, he has weaknesses just like the rest of us.

The guy smokes in secret, for Christ’s sake!  Who hasn’t done that?

And so, to my one success. I haven’t written best-selling books or risen to lead my country.  Nobody calls me Boss except my dog who has no choice.  I’ve never laid out my political manifesto or dunked a basketball while smiling for the cameras.

But unlike Barack, I stopped smoking, and if he’d like to call me, I can show him how to do it.

There will be no charge for the service.  If I can help POTUS to quit smoking without stress, it will be my little contribution to world peace.

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13 thoughts on “Obama and Smoking

  1. Let me be the first to (mis)quote Mark Twain: “It’s easy to give up smoking, I’ve done it hundreds of times”

  2. Bock, any chance you can enlighten me on how you managed to quit? Been trying without success for a few years now.
    On Obama, cant say I like him, The only actual change he brought to the U.S. is to be the first black guy in the white house, that is all sadly and bamboozling a nation into voting for him

  3. I’m a fan myself. I worked the phones, wore the tshirt, put up the yard sign I decided if the Republicans won again it wouldn’t be because I sat back and did nothing.
    If he can budge this country off the redneck, christian fundamentalist ignoramus path I’m a fan. Hell I’ll even send him a pack of cigs.
    I am reminded of this though http://www.theonion.com/content/video/obama_drastically_scales_back

  4. You know, I hated Bush during his term also. But now that he’s gone I respect what he did for the country a lot. He was absolutely hated by the world, but he didn’t care, he just took care of bidness and got on with it. Put the countries need to grow before himself. A patriot.

    You know how at the end of The Dark Knight, Harvey Dent was the hero that Gotham needed but didn’t deserve and Batman was the hero they deserved but didn’t quite need right then?

    Yeah, that’s Obama and Bush.

    Bush is Batman!

    Peace out.

  5. Yes indeed.

    I particularly liked that bit where he invaded a country that had nothing to do with the 9-11 attacks.

  6. At least it is only cigarettes Barak is bringing to the White House, unlike his predecessor Bill Clinton who fancied large Cuban cigars, but having said that, I suppose our ol’ pal Bill didn’t usually smoke them!!

  7. Yeah, but that oil had to be got. And Dubya got it. IMA GIT THAT OIL!

    Batman!

    You’d prefer maybe Ahmadinejit and his council of Iranian nut jobs to rule the world? Only hope Barack has the balls to send the boys over to bitch-slap those guys too.

    ‘Peace’

  8. have to say i like this new fangled Coloured/black president of the civilised world simply because he does not come across as a bigoted redneck bible-thumping arab-crunching bigoted arsehole that his predecessors were and also because he is not too bothered if he never stops smoking as he enjoys or at least thinks he enjoys them.

    as for your proven method of giving up smoking i can testify that it works straight from the box from day one! in fact as soon as you start the program you will never smoke again:)

  9. I love Obama and I honestly think that he is one of the best presidents ever. A black president being elected is a start of change for the entire world. But it doesn’t matter if he smokes or not, its not much of anybody else’s business what he does on his own time. I think its good for a person to kick back and relax every now and then. Now that he’s president he should probably be smoking some high class cigars, like Cohiba Cuban cigars. Maybe thats why he’s trying to fix up relations with Cuba…you never know.

  10. Really?

    “I envy his depth and breadth of intellect, but I like him for that too”

    Obama is a moron. He can’t string a complete sentence together without a teleprompter. His intellect is superficial at best. He is, in fact, intellectually lazy. His experience: a neighborhood organizer. He is totally out of his league and is way far in over his head.

  11. Is it way too cynical and paranoid to suggest that smoking the occasional fag is a very clever ploy to increase the likeability factor, which works for exactly the reasons you state. It allows people who never smoked or quit to feel better about him because he makes them feel better about themselves, and allows people who cant quit to feel that he is a kindred spirit. And it makes a guy who appears to have it all seem that bit more like the rest of us. I find it hard to believe that anyone with the will power and single mindedness to become president couldnt give up smoking if he wanted to. I’d say he has the odd one for the cameras, subtly though, in a “oh you caught me” kind of way, and in reality he’s the kind of guy who could give up completely tomorrow if he wanted to.

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