Obama says he’ll give up smoking, alas
Following up on a recent column, I have to report, sadly, that Hawaii's favorite son, Barack Obama, has failed his first major test as a candidate for president of the United States.
You might recall I counseled Obama, who likes to smoke the occasional cigarette, to basically tell the anti-smoking lobby to stuff it and thereby possibly become the first president to smoke cigarettes since Franklin Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower.
Obama ignored my advice and caved in to the forces of political correctness. He announced he will quit smoking. He reportedly said a presidential campaign is the perfect opportunity to quit smoking, and, I have to admit, trying to quit smoking in front of 300 million people is a lot of pressure. I mean, a lot of smokers have quit for a lot more private reasons: their children, their spouses ... their lungs. And then when they failed, they simply told their wives, husbands, children and lungs, "Hey, I gave it the old college try. Get off my back." If you try to quit smoking during a presidential campaign in front of 300 million people and fail, you might as well start investing in an iron lung and an oxygen machine because you, my friend, are a smoker for life. Or death, as the case may be.
I really wasn't against Obama quitting smoking, just quitting under political pressure. I think it sends the wrong message to our enemies, that he can be pushed around.
We can only hope that since he already has admitted in his autobiography to having smoked a little pot and ingested some coke, that he will not "pull a Clinton" and suddenly claim to not have inhaled the pakalolo and to have mistaken white powder as some sugar that fell off of his doughnut and he was simply vacuuming it up in the most economical way possible. For one thing, he'd have to explain to the anti-doughnut lobby what he was doing eating one of those little heart-stoppers. Once you start publicly giving up your vices, your vices tend to multiply. By the end of the campaign, Obama could be subsisting on mere air and water -- water that was gathered without the murder of any microbes or other tiny forms of life.
Since we are following up previous columns, it should be noted that Hawaii got out in front of the government airplane controversy. Hawaii residents were wrestling with the question of whether the Legislature should approve the purchase of an official state airplane for use by government officials and their cronies, I mean, aides, days before Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, started asking for her own jumbo jet to take her and her cronies, I mean, aides, between Washington and her home state of California.
The plane some Hawaii politicians want to buy and the one Pelosi wants are quite different in scale. Pelosi's plane could eat ours for breakfast. Her main contention is that her plane ought to be bigger than that of the previous House speaker, Dennis Hastert, thereby proving that the first female speaker has quickly caught on to the age-old congressional game of "mine is longer than yours."
I have to correct a mistake in the airplane column, in which I said state Sen. J. Kalani English, who was to hold hearings on the state airplane bill, is from Kauai. He's actually from Maui. I apologize to anyone from either island who was offended. And I dispute the allegation by some readers that I made the mistake because I think "all neighbor islands look alike." I don't think they look alike. Looking at satellite images of the islands using Google Earth, Kauai clearly resembles a greenish scone while Maui looks like the head of a wallaby or slightly deformed rabbit. The Big Island looks like an overfed version of Brazil, Molokai looks like a paramecium or some other single-celled organism and Oahu looks like, well, Oahu.
Last on the column follow-up front, I want to remind you to consider attending a no-host mixer and dinner sponsored by the Kamehameha Lions Club Foundation to raise money for a bone marrow transplant for Ilona Simeona-Thomas, a brave Lion who is fighting acute nonlymphatic leukemia. There will be great food, prizes and entertainment. The only downside of the evening is that I will be the guest speaker. Make reservations for the Feb. 27 "celebration of life" by calling 548-3100.
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