The White House this week released the results of a physical exam in which President Obama was triumphantly declared “tobacco-free.”
But watch the wording here closely. He doesn’t seem to be “nicotine-free.”
It is widely known that Obama was using Nicorette to quit smoking. But it’s not clear he’s quit the Nicorette.
The White House Pool reporter today caught Obama chewing away on some type of gum at the G-20 in Cannes, France.
A very long start to working session #3. Because host French President Nicolas Sarkozy had not yet arrived, the pool was allowed into the start of the session for nearly 45 minutes.
Unfortunately, pooler could not hear most of what was said. But there was plenty to see, including Obama, who was chewing gum throughout, spending at least 15 minutes in animated conversations, first with British Prime Minister David Cameron and later with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Now, when do world leaders ever chew gum at the G-20? Or the G-8? Or the G-anything?
Never. Except maybe if they are having a Nicotine fit.
I’m sure Nicorette works wonders for some people. But everyone I’ve known who has tried it is either still on Nicorette or back smoking cigarettes.
The use of cute phrasing – in this case, “tobacco-free” – to paint Obama as a man taking the tough road to quitting smoking is not new.
Early in his presidency, in 2009, Obama offered a Clintonesque response to a question about his cigarette use:
“I have not smoked in the White House.”
Again, look closely. He was trying to suggest he hadn’t smoked since he got to the White House, but Obama in his lawyerly way was actually saying he hasn’t physically smoked IN the White House.
I have a theory that he golfs so religiously not just out of a love for the game but, with only his trusted band of regulars on hand to see it, to fire up the smokes. But it’s just speculation.