Smokey Joe.Ronald Reagan could do it. Even George W. Bush could do it. But Barack Obama — a 49-year-old multi-millionaire adult with two impressionable children and a somewhat high-profile public life — cannot stop smoking cigarettes. If Obama’s inability to stand up for anything he apparently (?) ever believed is still a mystery to the Americans who enthusiastically supported him a couple of years ago, the answer might be found in whatever broom closet or spot behind the hedges where the American President crouches over his not-very-secret cigarette.

Today, Robert Gibbs got the smoking question, again. And Robert Gibbs did a true White House press secretary thing: He said, “I have not seen or witnessed evidence of him smoking in probably nine months.” But this, of course, depends on the meaning of “evidence.” Also: Doesn’t Gibbs go home after work, to his own family? Or does he follow Obama around all day and night, even to the toilet?

It is not easy to quit smoking when you’ve got a heavy nicotine habit. We know about this. It took your editor a couple of tries over a couple of months, many years ago, including one happy 10-day relapse in France. But, like Obama, your editor knew you don’t keep smoking after you’ve produced children. It is bad for you and it’s bad for the kids, who generally aren’t able to make an informed decision about whether they’d like to breathe somebody else’s Camels until they’re old enough to leave home, wheezing and smelling of ashtrays.

Obama claimed he had stopped smoking several years ago, and then claimed he was “still struggling” or whatever, and now that he’s been in office two years we cannot even get a straight answer, because of course he still smokes. He’s morally weak. This is why no matter what he claims to support, no matter what his own supporters expect him to do, he’ll always do the opposite. The devil sitting on his shoulder is a Republican twerp in a 1980 blue business suit telling him, “You know you want to screw over those idiot liberals. What have they ever done for you, anyway? As soon as you’re out of the White House — as long as you don’t ruffle any feathers on our side — you’re gonna make triple the money Bill Clinton ever saw, and you can buy a whole NBA team if you feel like it, and never even show up to watch because you’re at your own private PGA golf course. You think DailyKos is gonna buy you a golf course and a Lear Jet, Barry? You worried about some titty baby liberal arts major writing a free blog post for Arianna’s content farm? Get real, dingus.”

When you’re morally weak, you do things that you claim to not want to do. People with much tougher addictions than nicotine quit all the time, no matter how much professional help they may need, once they’ve made the moral decision to quit doing the thing they’ve decided is bad for them.

We are not talking about Keith Richards still smoking cigarettes, or Charles Bukowski drinking wine, or any other person of character who enjoys whatever they enjoy and partakes proudly, in the light of day (if they’re awake yet). We’re talking about the hiding. It does not take three fucking years to stop smoking cigarettes when you actually want to stop. Back in the day, Christopher Hitchens probably smoked more in a busy week of farting out Slate columns than Obama has smoked his whole pansy life. And Hitch quit — long before his cancer diagnosis, too. He’d had enough, and he quit.

If you’re still smoking cigarettes many years after you’ve announced that you’ve quit, you either weren’t ready to quit yet — in which case you should apologize to everyone for being such a loser, and go back to your cigarettes until you’re actually ready to stop smoking — or you’re morally weak. When you look at Obama’s first two years in office with the endless escalating wars against Third World peasants and his handouts to Wall Street and the consistent betrayal of the only people who ever actually wanted him to be president, moral weakness is the answer to everything.

LBJ knew what to do when he looked in the mirror and found himself morally lacking. [CBS News/AP/USA Today]

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  • No amount of nicotine can make the Republicans grow a conscience. That should be Obama's quit smoking mantra. I used to use that for myself about my ad agency boss not being able to grow a brain.

  • Trinket

    Jesus, Ken. Who the fuck cares if the president smokes?

    • It's not the smoking, it's the hiding — and the inability to follow his own stated beliefs even in something as simple as not smoking.

      • Trinket

        Ah, the cowardice. Yes, okay, I'm with you on this one. It is terribly disappointing. He should just own the smoking.

        • Well, Ken's pretty mad about Barry's latest cave-in to the Republicans, that's what this is really all about. Like the time my wife yelled at me for leaving the toilet seat up, in a manner WAY out of proportion to the crime?

          I think what she was really mad about the fact that I was a smelly, unshaven drunken bum who hadn't held a job in two years.

          • anniegetyourfun

            Haters/wives gonna hate.

          • natoslug

            Seriously, when I've admitted to banging your sister twice a week for the past year, why yell at me for the toilet seat? I've only left the seat up twice in the past 15 years.

      • HateMachine

        The other possibility is that he was lying, about the wanting to quit smoking. Because of course he'd say that, because it's good press, role model for the kids, etc but he honestly couldn't give two fucks about his charred lungs.

        Is lying bad too? Sure. Just throwing this angle out there.

        • problemwithcaring

          Seriously. The whole "I quit because of Michelle" shit was just pander to get elected. Regardless, I ain't buying this morally weak meme. He told y'all he wanted to kill brownz in Afghanistan waaaaaaaay back in '06.

          • horsedreamer_1

            My stepfather smokes, prolly has for fifty years or so — given he more than likely started sneaking them in high-school — even though he is barred from doing so in the house by my mother. (She has fragile lungs, seriously.) He still is allowed to have one in the bathroom in the morning, "surreptitiously". & he smokes like a chimney in the car, by himself, or at the American Legion hall. (He is not a veteran, but since the class of veterans who seem to like the Legion is dwindling — the Vietnam Vets have yet to warm to it, of course — they will take all comers, for drinks.)

            Basically, it's hard to quit. My stepfather is an educated man, worked in a factory for about 27 years, got laid off, went back to school, went into nursing; he watches Rachel Maddow & reads anything he can find (even if he's partial to Stephen King, & detective novels). He prolly "knows" smoking is bad for him. But the habit hangs on. & my mother deals with it.

            America can learn to deal with a president who smokes, too.

        • Crank_Tango

          I hear only one of his lungs is black, so there's that.

          • That would be the Kenyan one?

          • Crank_Tango


      • snoopyfan2010

        That would be like what a politician does to get elected when he think the people voting for him are too shallow to understand that not everything is either black or white. Even the president isn't.

        • HateMachine

          Well yes, exactly. And said politicians are exactly right about said voters.

    • genxr

      Obviously the press cares, because they have nothing more important to ask Robert Gibbs.

    • Commenter777

      Thank you – yeah, who cares? This column smacks of hypocrisy and faux common sense. Blech.

  • smokefilledroommate

    Someone put him out quick–before he smolders to death!

    • Madam Killjoy

      Can I smoke?

      Sure. Burst into flames for all I care.

  • byepluto

    But… Smoking is so cool!

    I quit smoking three months ago. It's hard, and not a dy goes by where I don't know that I would have less stress if I just had that outlet for release. But, I know that I'll wake up coughing up a lung if I didn't quit when I was still in my 20's.

    That said, smoking is sexy and cool.

  • GodShammgod

    No, Obama's inability to follow through or fight for the promises that got him elected prove he's morally weak.

  • Crank_Tango

    I can still get high, right? Also, I am quite morally weak if anyone wants to pay me for whatever.

  • Troubledog

    At least he's not fat.

    • Trinket

      Because he smokes! Maybe I should start smoking again.

    • Because that would be truly shameful being so easy to quit eating and all…

  • SudsMcKenzie

    He probably likes that "Jazz" music too.

    • Bonzos_Bed_Time

      Very, very urban people often do.

  • Pragmatist2

    He's a gay Muslin, Kenyan. Of course he is morally weak.

  • jim89048

    That's a Kool in his face, isn't it?

    • V572625694

      Well what else would it be? A Marlboro for chrissakes?

      • slappypaddy

        an american spirit?

        • horsedreamer_1

          Gauois? (Spelling, on that, also?)

    • SexySmurf

      Probably a menthol.

      • V572625694

        All Kools are menthols, and in the stereotype world of my youth, all African-Americans smoked Kools.

        • Except the sisters, who would smoke Virginia Slums.

          • jim89048

            In the youthful world of both V+numbers and myself, there were no Virginia Slims. Kools came in either filtered, cork-tipped or unfiltered, though.

          • Madam Killjoy

            We haven't come a long way. And don't call me "Baby".

            God, their ads were (are?) terrible. In the sepia past, your husband would beat you for not doing laundry but in the modern, "liberated" world you too can kill yourself with cancer!

          • jim89048

            To be fair, you could've also been beaten for being seen smoking in public and no jury would have convicted your husband. So, about that sandwich…

        • Negropolis

          It's a Newport. Get the stereotype correct or pay the price.

    • Beowoof

      No its a Newport

      • Radiotherapy

        Just beat me to it, you racist.

    • UW8316154

      Pulled over to the river, to take a rest
      Pulled out a pair of pliers pulled a bullet out of my chest
      Fear and loathing 'cross the country listenin' to my 8-track
      I reached behind the seat and snatched a Kool from the pack

  • Not_So_Much

    LBJ knew what to do when he looked in the mirror and found himself morally lacking.

    Did it involve extra room around the bunghole?

    • Gopherit

      Swinging his dog by the ears? Run, Bo! Run!

    • horsedreamer_1


  • Every time he fucks us he just has to have one.

  • GOPCrusher

    All will be forgiven if he knocks Boehner to the ground and stubs a butt out on his face.

  • slappypaddy

    i didn't know muslins smoked.

    • AntonovBureau

      I think a few shishas in the Rose garden would be very nice.

    • Bonzos_Bed_Time

      Only hookahs!

    • SorosBot

      Oh, the ones who follow the no alcohol rules, or live in country's where it's illegal, smoke a shitload and also drink a hell of a lot of coffee.

      • Madam Killjoy

        It's just like an AA meeting!

        • SorosBot

          Pretty much; when my family visited Egypt the sheer amount of smoking was shocking, and we either are or were all smokers.

      • zhubajie

        With hash in the tobacco.

    • CessnaDriver

      Holy crap, you've never been around Muslins. They smoke like Scientologists.

      • Negropolis


        But, seriously, have he ever been to a Muslim nation or know any Muslim Americans? They smoke like chimneys. It's like the one vice they are allowed to have, apparently.

  • fundamentallybroken

    "LBJ knew what to do when he looked in the mirror and found himself morally lacking."

    Yep. Call up that tailor and order more custom slacks, so it didn't feel like he was riding a wire fence all the time.

    • bhosp

      The best part of Presidential records laws is definitely that we know the kind of pants space the First Bunghole had.

      • V572625694

        That and the fact that Nixon was an anti-Semite, Kissinger, Garment & Co notwithstanding. Poor Tweetie was going through an agonizing reappraisal of his (apparent) high opinion of the Trickster about this a few moments ago.

        • bhosp

          Well yeah, the whole Nixon Shakespearean Drama/Paranoid Ranting thing sort of speaks for itself.

          I want to hear the tapes of LBJ being trained "My Fair Lady"-style to say "Nigra" instead of the other thing.

          • V572625694

            I want to hear the tapes of LBJ saying, "Call up the National Guard and Reserve to fight in Veetnahm? Fuck that, McNamara, I'm callin' up them hippies runnin around wearin shirts sayin 'Hey, Hey, LBJ, How many kids did you kill today?'"

  • So what does Lindsey Graham's inability to stop touching penises tell us?

    • GodShammgod

      That he'll be presenting Ann Coulter an award at next year's GOProud banquet?

      • Bonzos_Bed_Time

        You really need more pee points! Stick around here kid, you're doing alright.

    • That he likes penis more than anything except Israel.

    • Gleem_McShineys

      "Those aren't penises, they're num num nummy ham biscuits!"

      • anniegetyourfun

        Oh, man. Ham biscuits…

        Or cock. Seriously, I could go for either right now.

        • Extemporanus

          In the words of dearly departed alt text artist, Jim Newell: "Mmm, cum!"

        • How YOU doin'?

  • lochnessmonster

    I don't recommend this method of quitting however, I quit when I was laid up for 10 weeks with a torn retina. I could only lay on my side in a particular position ALL DAY. I had my choice of either continuing to have vision in my left eye or a cigarette. I picked the vision and gave up the cancer sticks. However, during that time I picked up another addiction, watching C-SPAN Washington Journal. This was before "on-demand" and other time wasters – daytime teevee is such a vast wasteland of nothingness. Sorry if I mistook this for a Nicotine Anonymous meeting.

    • bitchincamaro2

      So now you watch Law And Order reruns while in the spooning position with one eye behind the remote? Vision is a powerful master.

      • lochnessmonster

        No Law and Order reuns for me…my vision was saved. Alas, I'm one of those who have a job and are forced to work for my money rather than stay at home like those low-life unemployed ppl asking for handouts and such.

  • Delicious_2

    The PUMAs were right after all!


  • Boredw/Gravity

    I always thought he was smokin'. Smokin' hot, baby.

  • You worried some titty baby liberal arts major writing a free blog post for Arianna’s content farm

    Let me worry about the liberal arts majors with the tits. Just send them–I will be happy to take that worry off your hands, Barack.

  • Lucidamente1

    Oy. I didn't know Redstate had a writer named "Ken Layne."

    • V572625694

      Maybe Ken's pique is a work of performance art, like Eric Cantor worrying about Christians offended by antsy-Jeebus at the National Gallery. Colbert had a terrific send up on that last night.

      • UW8316154

        "Pique"? That sounds gay.

      • HateMachine

        Yeah, but artsy and metaphorical as it may be, this article wasn't actually, you know, funny. If I'm to believe Ken was trying to parody the typical libtard "Boo Obama" rant, he should have winked at us, at least once.

  • BorderJumper!

    I'm just waiting for another Faux News reporteur extraordinaire to say that this essentially makes him a threat to our national security.

    • anniegetyourfun

      The terrorists are watching him, seeing him smoke, and you know, they think, "This guy is morally weak." He really is. And that puts us in danger, all of us, because they feel they can attack us when our President is outside, getting cancer.

      • V572625694

        You think Hopey's not allowed to smoke in the W House? Harsh! In my smoking days, had I happened to have been preznident, I'd have called in a HELLFIRE missile strike from an orbiting Predator drone on anyone who told me I couldn't use my Zippo to fire up a Chesterfield King in the Oval Office.

  • bitchincamaro2

    Every smokeless day, he should put $ 8.00 (price per pack in DC?) in a cookie jar and give it to the kids at the end of the year. They will shame him and shrivel his paternal pride if there's anything less than a new iPad in it for each of them. Trust me, it'll work.

    • Crank_Tango

      I wonder if he drives out to the reservation to get cheap ones. I guess they probably don't have indian reservations too close to DC tho, huh?

      • WunkRocker

        Nope they were happy to go with the slow burn of giving whitey Cancer. We opted for cholera blanket missile predator drones. We won that battle but the red-man menace pervades with deliciously cheap nico-sticks.

    • Gopherit

      I doubt he buys his own. There's probably one guy on the Secret Service detail who is pissed that the president keeps bumming smokes. Yes, you can buy your own cigs, bastard!

      • bitchincamaro2

        I was as hooked on the butts as a Republican congress critter is to rentboy taint. Decided to quit by not buying them. Ended up bumming them from strangers on the street. Crack whores have more dignity than smokers without smokes. Finally the shame kicked in and I killed that goddamn monkey. Twenty-five long years ago. And I still miss them.

  • DebC2

    Bet he could use a cigarette pretty bad most days after dealing with those
    self-righteous fucks in Washington (and then fucking us unsuspecting
    fucks in the hinterland).

  • Bonzos_Bed_Time

    He should start up with cigars.

    Worked well for President Bubba.

    • Mumbletypeg

      "Hide-the-cigar" didn't end well for Clinton, though.

  • V572625694

    March 12, 1988 at Puerto Vallarta airport, 2:45 PM. My last cigarette ever. It's such a relief once you quit.

    • bitchincamaro2

      Then what happens to all those spiffy White House ashtrays with McCain's puss embossed on them?

    • BeWoot

      I don't drink and I've stopped beating my wife. And I feel much better.

      • charlesdegoal

        Same probably goes for her, though I don't know her personally so I can't vouch for her sanity.

  • SayItWithWookies

    And yet somehow Dick Cheney's inability to stop dining on the blood of innocent children, paraplegics and Nicaraguan nuns is seen as a sign of great stature.

    • Bonzos_Bed_Time

      Moral fiber.

      • anniegetyourfun

        The fiber most came from the nuns, who are a bit on the stringy side.

  • hagajim

    I heard he's thinking about taking up Snus. To better fit in with the NASCAR dads.

    • Beowoof

      As Walt Garrison used to say just a pinch between your cheek and gum gives you rich tobacco satisfaction. Ask Joe Gargiola how that worked out for him.

    • Barack Obama IS Coal Rebel!

  • LBJ knew what to do when he looked in the mirror and found himself morally lacking

    Did this involve Madeline Duncan Brown and a riding crop or Lady Bird and an extinct Burma Shave sign?

    • BeWoot

      Cigarettes and bourbon.

  • SexySmurf

    He said, “I have not seen or witnessed evidence of him smoking in probably nine months.”

    You know what this means. Hopey's preggers!!!!!!

  • Bluestatelibel

    He has no devil sitting on his shoulder. He is a very decent man, and in the manner of liars always thinking people are lying to them, he expects other people to be decent too. That's his problem.

    • Mindblank

      Yes. We obviously need a president who's very effectively indecent.

  • edgydrifter

    So, watching porn alone at home is cowardice, but watching it here in the office would be a mark of character? Sweet! Excuse me while I whip this out…

  • Sassomatic

    He smokes because he is an elitist! Real Americans don't smoke.

    • lochnessmonster

      They chew Skoal

      • WunkRocker

        You suck on Skoal more than chew it. It comes in these little, well tea bags for goobers who can keep it poised in their lip-sacks.

        • lochnessmonster

          Yuck…can't think about it…

  • BeWoot

    I smoke. And I vote.

    • I'd rather fight than switch.

      (But this has nothing to do with smoking, in my case.)

  • WarAndGee

    "Follow up question Mr. Secretary, do you think the president will start to blow some of that smoke up the American peoples' asses to better compete with new Speaker of the House-elect?" – War And Gee, if he were stuck in that little blue-curtained media fart box.

  • sezme

    You know who else couldn't stop smoking?
    No, not Hitler, silly! Chairman Mao.

    • Jukesgrrl

      Cigarette. Starts with a C. Communist. Starts with a C. I rest my case.

    • And when Mao did try to quit? You get that whole snippy, bitchy Cultural Revolution thing.

      Keep torching 'em, Mr Prez.

    • zhubajie

      Liked 17 year old virgins and maotai too. He'd dumped communism by that time and had turned Taoist.

  • snoopyfan2010

    I know for a fact that Barry's real name is Dingus.

    • anniegetyourfun

      Well, "Dingus" is Swahili for "Mouth of Smoke and Fire."

    • Cicada

      So that's why he won't release the birf certificate.

  • SorosBot

    Having tried to quit before (it was for a girl, then she dumped me, so I quit quitting), and remembering how irritable and easily angered it mad me, I think it might be best for Obama not to quit smoking until he no longer commands the world's largest military.

    • bitchincamaro2

      "I think it might be best for Obama not to quit smoking until he no longer ostensibly commands the world's largest military.


    • madiemodie

      Yes, i started up again when George II decided to make war on Iraq.

  • Gopherit

    I'm less galled by this being evidence of his moral weakness than his administration's aggressive attacks on flavored tobacco(poor skoalrebel) and marijuana. He's a damned hypocrite. Or, you know, a politician.

    You find me a morally strong politician, and I'll show you the next hitler. People with moral certitude scare the bejesus out of me.

  • MistaEko

    Guys, stop giving him grief. This is a solid compromise he's hammered out with cigarettes. He only smokes twice a week outside after 9 pm when the kids aren't around with a temporary extension on cutting back until 2011. And in turn the cigarettes will not give him super-one-hit-kill-cancer and promise to hold off on the DT should he go cold turkey until he orders the next carton.

  • Crank_Tango

    OT, but I was just looking at my stupid intensedebate whatever, and apparently my average comment length is 97 characters. I hope that's average!

    • Bonzos_Bed_Time

      I only have 73 avg. character length, but a higher pee score.

      Which goes to show you, it's not how much you got, but how you use it!

      • Crank_Tango

        I tell the ladies that all the time!

        I did lose a solid 30 p'z in Fistallnacht, and haven't been the same since!

        • Seriously, I'm still puzzling that one out. On the day of the great purge, this humble caveman lost a total of eight measly little points, but some of you triple-digit superstars got shot down thirty, forty p.

          What the hell was that all about?

      • Jukesgrrl

        You seem to be able to do that using recognizable words, too. You're hereby assigned to give Twitter lessons to Grampa Cornpants.

    • Extemporanus

      My average comment length is 197 characters, which I guess makes you…umm…a grower, not a shower?

    • 216! Suck it if you can fit it, bitch!

    • Bonzos_Bed_Time

      This is a whole lot of pee in one place.

  • dmac

    Obama smokes Marlbors, if I remember correctly. He could definitely do better.

  • Tommmcatt

    Also I don't care for his suits most of the time, which makes him a person of questionable taste and class.

    • Crank_Tango

      I believe the technical term is "ghetto trash."

    • SorosBot

      Although some of the craziest of the fundamentalist wingnuts have actually claimed they think he's a certain man of wealth and taste.

      • Extemporanus

        He needs to use all his well-learned politesse, or they'll lay his soul to waste.

  • I knowz that the classic film noire ciggie moment is right after sexytime. Some will have to trust me on this, but right after a firefight and yer still able to smoke is even better. Thankfully, I've given up both ciggies and firefights. Da boss should do the same. But in hiz defense, it ain't easy. You can see folks standing outside a hospital, holding on to an IV on wheels, who have just had one lung removed, and are sheepishly puffin' away. The tobacco is legal, but the Govt treats pot as a dangerous drug and will toss yer ass in jail fer it. Please, give us all a freaking break!

    • V572625694

      Sniper check?

    • DustBowlBlues

      I am totally in favor of legalizing pot. If only for arthritis sufferers. I had a friend who stopped smoking by switching exclusively to smoking pot. It worked for the nicotine habit, but he flunked a few of our college classes.

  • user-of-owls

    Come on, what the fucking fuck? This is getting a bit ludicrous. "Obama is the new Mussolini because TSA wants to peep," "Obama is the new Faggot In Chief because he doesn't call a prime-time news conference to say he is having trouble quitting smoking," and "Obama is a monster because, like untold number of his predecessors he caved too quickly to an incoming uptick of the opposition party." But the smoking thing? That's just too Politico.

    • bhosp

      Ken was doing a thing, you know, a metaphor.

      • Crank_Tango

        too many words. you want to do a metaphor, you go "obama did x, .therefore, obama is just like hitler."

  • arihaya

    if I have to confront hostage-taking Congress-members led by a Turtle and an Orange while being accused to be a Kenyan-Indonesian-Socialist-Communist-Fascist-Muslim everyday… i will smoke three packs a day !

  • Extemporanus

    Ken, I can't believe you missed this unsettling statement made at today's briefing:

    "White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters that President Obama realized something was wrong when he returned to the Situation Room after a smoke break, and the screens used to monitor military operations in the Middle East began to bend and stretch, and Vice President Biden's hair plugs melted."

    • Troubledog

      Smoking mad Newports
      cause I'm due in court
      for an assault that I caught in Bridgeport, New York

  • slappypaddy

    so ken, i just went back and actually read what you wrote. ow!

    many times over, ow!

    as for what lbj did when he looked in the mirror and found himself morally lacking, was that the time he pulled his dick out and banged it on the conference table?

  • jim89048

    In other news, I got my Eid card from Hopey and Bobamar today, so we can all make with the holiday truce any minute now.

  • blinky_twinkie

    If I had his job, I'd smoke a pack every few hours, and flip my nicotine-yellow, hardened middle finger at anybody who said a god damned word about it. (I was a smoker for 15 years until November 09 when I quit, so I know about the demon Nicotene.)

    • Jukesgrrl

      I also have a big bowl of buttered popcorn and one of those kilo-sized Belgian chocolate bars from Trader Joe's at my elbow 24/7. And if anybody said anything, I'd shoot them in the face with buckshot.

  • When I was a smoker long ago I would detest the people who claimed they quit smoking but would sneak over and whisper for one of my smokes. They were worms in my eyes. In order to get a cigarette they had to tell me they were a smoker. They were so desperate that they had to do it and they could no longer be the smug non-smoker in my presence.

    Deciding to breed was the only thing that motivated me even though i lost my mom to emphysema. Quit cold turkey and for two weeks I was like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. It was so bad hubby threw cigarettes at me and I would hiss back, "No. YOU must suffer too." I NEVER want to be that way again, so I don't dare to smoke again. It is a great feeling that my son won't have any exposure to smokers growing up.

    It has been 8 years, and I have stopped having those smoking dreams that freak me out because they are so real.

    If your kids don't get you to quit, you will probably won't quit ever. Mom would smoke while tagging her oxygen tank along. So sad.

    Hopey is helluva weak. That also makes me sad.

    • V572625694

      Children of smokers are pretty damn likely to smoke, so it's good to quit before they come.

      A few days before she died at 87, I loaded my mother into a wheelchair in the rehab center of her assisted living facility, and wheeled her up to her room to get a pack of Carletons. Didn't even notice that the little oxygen tank lashed to her chair was hooked up to the tube around her head.

    • zhubajie

      "Mom would smoke while tagging her oxygen tank along. So sad."

      My stepmother died of pancreatic cancer, connected to 40 years of Marlboros. The last thing she did before she lost consciousness the last time was light up a cigarette.

    • This is fucking ridiculous. Let's see you quit smoking while doing his job. Better, let's see you quit smoking while doing it so much better than he possibly could.

      • Bah! I quit in a very tough time in my life — losing a parent, dealing with an aging widowed father, while having to help organize a wedding of a birthparent, and a whole bunch of other stressors at time. I don't have a staff to handle a the menial and important things you have to do daily like Obama does. Obama can call in experts when he has a problem and delegate responsibilities. The rest of us face adversity relatively alone because you don't want to burden people and there is never a good time to quit, but you do it anyway. You suck it up or you don't. I am not seeing that it is easy, it is the toughest thing ever done including childbirth. Quitting smoking is not for sissies.

        Again, my beef is with people who say they quit but sneak, not with people who are open smokers. I have compassion for open smokers because I know how tough it is. I still hung out with smokers in my political science program even when I quit because I wasn't going to be one of those obnoxious reformed non-smokers.

        It is probably ridiculous because we don't even know if he is off the wagon.

        It will probably be Wikileaks trump card where there is a State Department memo of Hopey and Hillary taking smoke breaks on the WH Balcony.


  • Oh fer fuck's sake.

  • moralturpentine

    Damn, I had something to say about moral weakness and smoking (especially secret smoking) and also unprotected sex and drunken driving but then those three drinks I had at lunch that I promised myself I wouldn't have got to me so I've got nuthin'.

    • "I have no worries about being morally weak. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't swear."

      (Goddammit, I left my cigarettes in the bar.)

  • Extemporanus

    In President Obama's defense, he only smokes when he does coke.

  • vulpes82

    Oh, Ken. I think we've gone just a tad too far with this one. I understand, though; this has been a really, really, really, REALLY sucky week all around. I think you need a nice walk in the desert with the dog to clear your head.

  • Rotundo_

    Small sins I don't get too worked up about; an occasional smoke break dealing with the train wreck Barry has inherited? I would need one too. Clinton got a blow job, big deal. Bush got us into two fucking wars in places that tend to grind up good people. I guess after Dubya, I have set the bar for conduct a little lower. Barry isn't perfect, and after the last few months anyone delusional enough to continue believing the bullshit from the campaign is beyond redemption. But even if he accomplishes squat in the next two years, he will be a better president than Dubya was, and given the Walnuts! alternative, (with snowbilly grifter a heartbeat away from the oval office), still the best thing we've had going for a while. Smoke 'em if you got em Barry, you still have a couple more years of suck right along with the rest of us. Then you, at least can retire.

    • sati_demise

      Talking to Bernie Sanders last summer about DC lobbyists:
      "However bad you think it is, it is much, much worse."

      yea, Barry, smoke 'em if you got 'em. I dont fucking care. We all know nicotine helps people concentrate.

  • PublicLuxury

    Of all the vices that could be present in our Commander in Chief, smoking is truly the lesser. Out last CoC invaded countries and tortured people and wire tapped innocent Americans. It might have gone better if he hadn't been on a dry drunk with the ghoulish chainknee and rummy egging him forward. If the guy needs a cigarette… so be it. Does he set a good example by smoking? Depends on how you look at it kids, bomb another country or smoke???? Neither is good but . . .

    Morally weak? Nah. He's not Fredo banging cocktail waitresses two at a time. . .

  • Mrspanky

    This would not be such a big deal if the FLOTUS wasn't pulling mutated yams out of her organic garden and wanting to make Big Macs and KFC Original Recipe illegal.

    Damn it people! If Barry needs to burn one, let him burn one!

  • Radiotherapy

    Oh crap, another hostage situation.

  • Beowoof

    I smoked for long time before I was able to quit, and with the shit storm in the White House everyday since he got there, I don't begrudge him a some smokes, God knows he needs them.

  • GodShammgod

    Eh, I suppose we should be thankful for small mercies. At least Obama isn't holed up in a bunker somewhere with a few crates of Jack Daniels and a faceful of tears, a la Bush after 9/11.

  • LetUsBray

    Okay, I'm not overjoyed with the prez right now either. But if I wanted to read how every single thing he does or ever has done in his whole life proves he SUCKS and is Hitler and evil, I could go to, well, just about any site on the internet. I hadn't figured wonkette for a follower.

  • problemwithcaring

    If having kids means I have to quit smoking weed, then shit, I guess I am Barren Fo' Life.

    It's a shame the White House doesn't have a Rec/Smoke Out Room that he could sneak off to, like we Californian Americans.

    • Crank_Tango

      God bless us, everyone!

    • slappypaddy

      hell, i didn't quit smoking weed when i had kids. it was the only thing that got me through.

      liquor, on the other hand, had to go. being drunk with a kid around is way more dangerous than being high.

  • BarackMyWorld

    LBJ sounds like something you'd pay a Mexican hooker for.

  • DustBowlBlues

    I don't give a shit. I just fell off a ladder and my arm is sore and my arthritic neck is aching worse than usual because I was three feet off the ground and too old to fall on a concrete floor and it's my right hand that I need to use to beat opera fudge for the fucking grandkids who probably don't appreciate what a great fucking grandma I am out of the old school model and I can't tell anyone in my fucking family because they'll just scream at me for falling off a ladder at my age.

    So, Mr. President, if I can go through the above life trauma and give the Bombay bottle a pass when I have limes and tonic in the house, you, sir, can fucking well quit smoking. Take out the grumpy on the Republithugs for a change.

    (And you thought this was going to be OT. In the spirit of the Christmas season, "Oh, ye of little faith.)

    • slappypaddy

      sounds like you could use a couple tokes of "medical" marijuana, take the edge off.

      • DustBowlBlues

        No shit, Sherlock.

  • AddHomonym


    • vulpes82

      Yeah, I was expecting him to call us sanctimonious idealists next!

  • It just occurred to me that we need a new really, really urban warning label on the packs of smokes to get guys like Barry to quit for good:

    "Yo, muthafucker! Smokin' makes ya grillz al a stanky and ho's all dis ya then, nawadymsayin'?"

  • deyallbad

    he disgusts me, too, ken…..cawnt bleeve i was so taken in.

  • UW8316154

    My inability to commit must be the shield that kept me from becoming a smoker. I've tried, god knows I've tried (once as a teenager, another during my divorce), to demonstrate the level of committment necessary to be a smoker; but between a dislike of smoking outdoors, when I'm wet, standing up, around other people, in the morning or in the car, combined with a lack of organizational skills (got to find the special store that stocks MY hard-to-find brand, remember to keep purchasing them occassionally, have a source of flame on hand, it's just endless) – jeezus, smoking was way to fucking complicated to become part of my life.

    • DustBowlBlues

      My mother was a heavy smoker all my life. (Thanks, Mom, for the early cancer I'll probably die from). Once I was old enough recognize the difference in smells of her of other people, I couldn't bring myself to hug the woman, let alone kiss her. By my teenage years, I held my breath whenever she wanted me to hug her.

      She stank. Absolutely, disgustingly stank. I didn't smoke when other teenagers were trying it out because of my mom. I didn't want to be as disgusting as she was. So, in one sense, I guess I should be grateful. I smoked off and on when I was in college and then while I was getting divorced–all my friends did, back in the 70s. But I was always aware of the side effect–stinking.

      The best way to quit smoking is to fall in love with someone who isn't a smoker. During the early, infatuation phase you're so carried away with luurve that you'll do anything. Guess Barry didn't take advantage of that period.

      BTW–Weird thing about my wonderful mom, was that she was really excited when she found out I was smoking on the side (mostly because I was so fucking depressed) and kept suggesting we take a "smoke break" together. Her idea of bonding, I guess. Didn't work for me.

      I nearly strangled her to death when I was 16 but that's another story. She wasn't an easy person to live with. Which is why I am such a wonderful person today?

  • MilwaukeeKent

    Good lord, is there anyone as self-righteously moralizing as a reformed smoker? Lighten up, Ken. Or just light up and settle the interior conflict — Smoke if I got 'em, Ken, the first one's free. (after that,, well, there are sewers to crawl through, true, but the light at the end of the sewer is a burning cigarette, ah, sweet relief! Every cell in my body was screaming for nicotine).

    • Bonzos_Bed_Time

      …is there anyone as self-righteously moralizing as a reformed smoker?

      Yes, a dry alcoholic. See entries under Bush, George W.

  • BarackMyWorld

    Mom….Layne's trying to be ironic again!

  • MilwaukeeKent

    I'm proud to call myself a Liberal, but sometimes…like with the NPR program E Town, listen to that, long ago I came to the conclusion it was too much John Denver, not enough Johnny Rotten; too much Birkenstocks and not enough Doc Martens, know what I mean?

    Feeble as it is, this cigarette I'm about to light is still legal, if socially unacceptable, banned in almost all public forums and likely to kill me. One of the real reasons that stubborn 20 percent won't quit is because everyone in the world is trying to make us quit. All this moralizing is guaranteeing that every single teenager is going to give smoking a try.

    Give the guy a break. And what would LBJ do? Probably call a small news conference and his entire family into the oval office and make a statement while getting an enema, or grab you by the shoulder, give you a blast of foul breath while telling you what he wants, and clinch the deal with a bone-breaking bear hug.

    • So the reason for not quitting is because all those asshole do-gooders want you to quit?

      That's sort of like those Limbaugh conservatards to who turn on all the lights and crank the heat up with the doors an windows open on Earth Day.

  • fitzwili

    This is absurd when I cannot tell the difference between Wonkette and the Daily Caller or NRO. Whether the President goes to church or occasionally smokes are topics that are stupidly obsessed over by gawping Washington insider journalists who concentrate on trivia because they are too inadequate to actually engage in issues of actual importance. I honestly cannot believe that on a day like today you support a journalist asking about an occasional cigarette because that reveals some" truth". I have so much respect for you as a writer, but this was an appalling lapse of judgement on your part

    • DustBowlBlues

      I would be forced to agree with you, if only for the erudite way you put this. You win.

      • fitzwili

        @ dustbowlblues
        Thanks! I hope tomorrow is free for you from the deadly scourge of wayward ladders.
        Basically I just hope tomorrow is a better day.

  • RawhideRawlins

    I always laugh or cry with the wankers at Wonkette and much enjoy. But this is bullshit.

  • slappypaddy

    looks like barry's pissin' everybody off, left, right and center. he must be doing something right.

  • deanbooth

    Years ago my 5-year-old son told his mom, "Someone's smoking in our garage." The jig was up, so I offered him a tax cut.

    • AddHomonym

      I'm going to stroll on down to my local all night FedEx Kinko's and log on to each and every computer there so I can give you mass thumbs up fistings. See ya in a few.

  • valgal2342

    I'd smoke too if I had to be prez. Oh wait…

  • elpinche

    If I had to clean the pig slop the previous administration left behind, I'd be injecting heron directly into my eyeballs.

  • undeterredbyreality

    I'm tryin' to figure out if the snark is off on this one–Ken, give us a clue! Are you afraid Wikileaks will shut you down?

    I quit smoking for three years, started again when I bummed one of my mom's at my dad's funeral. Quit again a few years later by chewing Nico-rat gum–for 5 years! Finally said the hell with that and started smoking again just for the pure honesty of it. Now my only hope is that it does kill me–and quickly. Of course, I only smoke pure tobaccy, roll-yer-own, ordered over the internet; none of them chemicals they put in the commercial stuff.

    And oh, yeah–it's the filters that kill ya.

    And finally–what the hell happened to my pees?

  • deleted7493168


    1 – Fly from Newark to Hong Kong.

    2 – Go to jail.

    3 – Try both at the same time, fuck it right?

    4 – Eat an orange and smoke a Marlboro, neat.

    anyway, yeah, good points all.

  • Neilist

    Didn't Jimmy Carter also have trouble quitting smoking?

    The parallels are starting to stack up . . .

    • SorosBot

      Seeing as Jimmy Carter was the best President of my lifetime (born 1976), I take that as a good sign.

    • LOL.

      I don't say this often enough, but Fuck You, Neillist.

      • Neilist

        "Fuck You, Neilist, You ASSHOLE," you mean.

        Get it right: Proper English usage is IMPORTANT.

    • Negropolis

      I don't know why he was getting negative pee-points on this one. I actually got his absurdist lean, here.

      BTW, the Jimmy Carter meme has lost all humor, for me. Obama's FAR more similar to George H.W. Bush, to be honest. Barry wishes he had he conviction of a Jimmy Carter. In his fucking dreams.

      • Neilist

        Back off, Negropolis. I work VERY HARD for those negative pee-points. I SWEAT for them. I LIVE for them. They are ME.

        And while we're on the subject of going completely over the top: Barry O is, at worst, a disappointment. Comparing him to George H.W. "Shit for Brains" Bush is Going WAY Too Far.

        Hell. I'm an ASSHOLE. And for me any comparison to Bush, other than a negative, is Going Too Far.

        Even a comparison to Clinton would be too much. (Let's face it: Barry never had to fuck a fat girl his entire life. A white fat girl. A black fat girl. A yellow fat girl. NEVER happened.)

  • not that Dewey

    Wasn't Sarah Palin going to lift my American Spirits? Whatever happened to that? Oh, well. Nevermind. I'm going out for a Spirit (blue, naturally).

  • Wait Ken Layne has given birth? Interesting.

  • Troubledog

    Lest we forget — Liberals are renowned for intolerance!

    I once had a granola-cruncher step to me with my carelessly discarded smoldering cigarette butt between his thumb and forefinger, held it in my face with an unwavering hand, and sneered, "I believe you dropped this".

    Even excluding WTO types, tree-spikers, animal liberation fags, and other militants, there is no shortage of card-carrying Liberal people eager to tell others how to live "for their own good". In Sweden, for example, you can get two years for unprotected consensual sex. Ha! How's that for interfering in the bedroom?

    Let's all take a deep breath. My beloved brown President of the United States burned all his capital on HCR. I would have really picked different stuff, but there it is. He just couldn't get it all done. He burned everything he had and everything he could borrow. Give him a chance to recoup.

    Have a Newport on me, Barry. Relax. Enjoy the holidays. And whatever you do, let all those tax cuts motherfucking expire.

  • DarwinianDemon

    Yeah LBJ retired and we got Richard Nixon. And now here we are in 2010 and all the people bitching about Hopey cry "WHY CANT WE HAVE A PRESIDENT LIKE LBJ!!!!!?!?! HE SIGNED CIVIL RIGHTS AND MEDICARE!!!?!" when they would have been the very same ones trying to run LBJ out.


    I'm a proud libtard, but I'm getting tired of people forgetting anything that happened before 2009.

    • HateMachine

      I too am a proud libtard, but I am not very proud of a lot of these other libtards.

    • axmxz

      Apparently, Bush's approval rating is now higher than Obama's. Forget literacy tests at the polls – how about a simple memory test? "Describe in general terms what the guy you're voting out of office did."

  • mrbubb

    "You're either a smoker, or you're not. Know what you are, and be that." –Robin Williams, "Dead Again"

    I think he's smoking because he's stressed the hell out. When you're Reagan or G.W.B, you're not stressed out, either because you're senile, or because you just can't be bothered to give a shit, with that rich boy, coke-snorting, college cheerleading, frat boy mentality you've never shed.

    The presidency, to a thinking, caring person, who feels obligated to do a good job, has to be one unending fucking nightmare. Cigs would be the least I was on.

  • FlipOffResearch

    I quit smoking 2 years ago.

    But Barry's under a little more stress than I am ever likely to know. Think of it this way: … Remember how much hell they gave Clinton? Remember what they let Bush get away with? They are just picking shit with Obama.

    For instance, a non-political girl I work with was complaining about Michelle Obama vacationing in Spain. I pointed out some historical precedents, and showed her that the vacation was not really out of line. But she was still pissed. Why was this girl, that I have never heard say anything political, bitching about something so obscure and inconsequential? Because it's out there. From the" terrorist fist jab" to the birthers. They are picking on every little thing.

    So the guy is stressed and he's thirsty for a smoke. Let him have it – without judgement.

    I fake quitted a bunch of times, usually for broads. It'd have to be worse to quit for a nosy intrusive media. It wasn't until I decided deep down that I was sick of poisoning myself that I quit. My secret: I didn't cheat. When you cheat you know that you are the cigarette's bitch. Once I made that decision, I knew I was done. So maybe Obama hasn't got there yet. So what?

    The man is trying to singlehandedly stave off "The Great Depression II". A sequel I'm not anxious to see.

    • Your paragraph 2 tellsit right, needs to be said more often.

  • Barbara_i

    He'd "walk a mile for a camel" and with his birth land, that's not exactly a great feat.

  • Negropolis

    I'm as pissed as anyone at the president, right now. But, this is one road I can't and won't go down. Nope. Nah Gonna' Do It. This is one Bridge To Nowhere Too Far. We need to be better than this, way better.

    This man is rife with some major and legitimate moral inadequacies, and this is either one of the lesser ones, or not one, at all.

  • zhubajie

    "LBJ knew what to do when he looked in the mirror and found himself morally lacking."

    Felt Imelda Marcos up?

  • wegot2dobetter

    Maybe he smokes because he likes to. Maybe he hides, not because he's morally weak or ashamed, but because it would set a bad example for the nation's obese, diabetic chirrun, who do not need to take up yet another bad habit just because president obama looks so damn cool doing it. And you know he would look cool as hell.

  • There are 40,000 cases of lung cancer a year – 800,000,000 of us smokers are just fine, thank you..

    Let him smoke if he wants to, jeez. Nothing to see here, move along.

  • Mindblank

    Oh, he'll quit. When he finds himself bumming a cig from his daughters.

  • Blake77

    I needed a bit of peace and quiet when I quit I was unemployed for 6 months once it was a perfect time to quit. I have friends who smoke their kids take great delight in not smoking and rubbing it in their face. I quit smoking three years before procreating and all three of my children smoke. I am sure President Obama does not smoke around his children.
    What's this about moral weakness I have no idea what that means. Give me something better to think about. Morality is a long outmoded concept that to me means not being motivated or having the right incentives. Subscribing to a code of morals leaves people open to being rigid and narrow minded.

  • sati_demise

    File this under 'what ELSE is he hiding, HUMMMMM'?

    jebus fuckin crist another used to smoke so why cant everyone else quit smoking nazi

  • axmxz

    Hey Ken, you know who else hated tobacco?

    • oops, shoulda been an upthumb, owe ya one.

      • axmxz

        Thank you. I'm coming off the ledge.

  • God, this didn't get 10,000 page views? What the hell do I have to do to get 10,000 page views?

    This was a 10,000-page-view post if I ever fucking saw one.

    • user-of-owls

      You want 10k views? How about you explain the pee-score genocide. Pretty sure you could draw more interest than a whingy attempt to stir the pot with a transparent bait post.

      So, yeah. If the hammer falls, it's been great knowing you all! Read your Popol Vuh and find peace in the wisdom of ancient Mayan creation myths.

      • I honestly have NO IDEA how the p-scores work. My *assumption* is that because this commenting system is used across many websites (including the Breitbart dingbat sites), bored people are retaliating here for what bored people did over there, or something.

        But I have no idea, none at all. I have no control over it. Jesus christ, I have 55 pee points and I'm the goddamned editor *and* the alleged administrator of the comments.

        • horselover_fat

          the pee score is based on the thumbs primarily, but there's clearly some fucked up number of posts x inverse of the time delta between posts shizzo going on. like, if you don't keep the free content coming at high quality AND at a regular rate, herr puts you on fuckin' notice. you rikey your pee score? get back on the fucking comment factory line now, blue suit #1508, and make it both fast AND funny and do not stop until your wonkette and affiliates are swimming in clicks (the currency approved by future ron paul). be sure to click those ads when you clock in and out, too!

  • sportshort

    Everyone should bum one from him, all the time. Then he'll run out. Then he'll have to buy more. Soon he'll be up to four packs a day. Then everyone should start bumming packs off him. He'll have to go out and buy cartons. Then everyone should start bumming cartons off of him. He'll either go broke or single handedly jump-start the economy. Win-cough-win.

  • Shibotu

    Self-righteousness and calling people "losers" is a much better indicator of moral weakness than smoking.

    And that picture has been disputed as a fake for so long it's really tacky to use it.

    I'm one of many people who never experienced any addictive effects from nicotine so I can say it's not a matter of morality, just genetics.

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