Obama’s race for president is SMOKIN’!
If one were unafraid to employ a really bad pun for the sake of a potential giggle, one might say that the presidential ambitions of Hawaii's favorite son, Barack Obama, are in danger of going up in smoke.
One might do that. But not this one. I live in deathly fear of puns and would never stoop to injecting one into a conversation just to elicit a cheap laugh.
But it is a fact that if there is one thing that threatens our dynamic Punahou graduate's run for the White House, it is not race, creed, color, age, height, weight or public admissions by Obama that in his youth he sampled the magic herb and even vacuumed a little Peruvian marching powder into his nasal cavity. No, the thing that might keep Obama from occupying the Oval Office is that fact that he -- are you sitting down? -- smokes cigarettes.
The American people -- at least the liberal, Democratic kind that currently are swarming onto Obama's bandwagon -- ultimately will fall out of love with him once he fails to renounce smoking and enter a treatment facility. A person who strangles kittens on camera or runs a white slavery ring stands a better chance of becoming president of the United States than a cigarette smoker.
The time is not far off when Obama supporters will take him aside and suggest that he publicly announce that he's given up smoking cigarettes.
But from what I know of Obama, he has true character and wouldn't give up a perfectly legal pastime he clearly enjoys just to win a few extra votes.
I would encourage him to embrace his smokingness, if that is actually a word. It would be a breath of fresh air for a presidential candidate to admit he smokes and will not be bullied from it for the sake of political correctness. Many great presidents smoked, including Franklin Roosevelt, Warren Harding, Howard Taft, Dwight Eisenhower and Lyndon Johnson. (Sure, they're all dead, but smoking had almost nothing to do with that.) Eisenhower reportedly rolled his own cigarettes, a practice that might have raised a few eyebrows if Bill Clinton had done it. Of course, if Bill Clinton had been rolling cigarettes instead of playing with cigars, he might have avoided the entire Monica Lewinski scandal.
Hillary Clinton declared the entire White House smoke free in 1993. Had she declared the White House bimbo free, Bill might have put up a bit more of a fight.
I'm not sure if a proclamation by a first lady is legal precedent. Obama likely could cancel that order if he became president. A photo of Obama lighting up a cigarette in the White House would be the final nail in Hillary Clinton's political coffin. (Get it? Cigarette/coffin nail? Never mind.)
The thing is, Obama has got to get past Hillary to get into the White House, and Hillary no doubt will "swift-boat him" over his disgusting cigarette habit. Hillary probably has her agents slinking around in restroom stalls trying to get secret video of Obama smoking in the boys' room.
Obama should do the counterintuitive thing and proudly proclaim himself a smoker. He could make national headlines from his hometown coming to the aid of the Hawaii Bar Owners Association, which is currently suing the state over Hawaii's new law against smoking in bars and restaurants. The next time he's in Hawaii, Obama should show up at Pigskin Sports Bar, where a growing band of scofflaws openly defy the no-smoking law by lighting up nightly on the premises.
If a presidential candidate isn't willing to stand up to the politically correct, anti-smoking bullies, how is he going to stand up to terrorists? Or sit down with our adversaries in the Middle East and discuss peace while taking tokes from the community hookah?
And you know that if smoking ultimately helps Obama's presidential campaign, Hillary will soon be sporting a pack of Lucky Strikes rolled up in her T-shirt sleeve.
Charles Memminger's new book, "Hey Waiter, There's an Umbrella in My Drink!" is available at island bookstores and online book retailers.
Buy Charles Memminger's hillarious new book, "Hey, Waiter, There's An Umbrella In My Drink!" at island book stores or online
at any book retailer. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org