Real smoke after the “half-smoke”?

Smoking and Obama — Why didn’t the media focus on it prior to the Election? 

Let me just get this out there — I supported Obama over McCain. And I used to smoke and quit. I mean really quit.  So There.

Now that you know, I hope you will read the remainder of this post with the same sincerity that I am writing with.

With the Inauguration for our President-Elect upon us and much more weighty worries and questions on the media and the public’s mind,  I still can’t get this one question out of my head, “Why didn’t the media focus more on Obama’s smoking habit pre-election?”  

You see, I have had this unsettling feeling inside me about this topic for quite a while and only a few days ago, was I able to articulate why I felt as such:

 “Change We Can Believe In” was his campaign slogan. So why then, Mr. Obama, when you have promised to change the very ground that we walk on, and I hope you succeed, can you not change your smoking habit?

 Based upon our much more modest real-life challenges we know change is actually harder to achieve than to talk about.  But is it equally hard for the “Prophet of Change” to change himself? Should I have less faith in Mr. Obama’s Change strategy? Is their any correlation? 

Regardless of correlation between ability to affect personal habit change and governance, what truly irks me is that the mainstream media has time to discuss Sarah Palin’s wardrobe, lipstick on a pig, and all sorts of tangential topics ad-nauseum but they do not talk about the number one American role model’s smoking habit and the harmful affect that can have on America’s impressionable younger population.

I believe it should have been debated seriously before the elections and not hidden for post-election half  jokes like this CNN article.

This is, in my book, one strike for the media.

What are your thoughts?


4 Responses

  1. In the end, he’s just a guy. From what I’ve seen at least, he hasn’t smoked again. The percentage of smokers continues to go down here in the U.S. and really I don’t see how the image of Obama having to deal with a personal issue as smoking, matters. I also fail to see how if anything it might humanize him to the public. I agree that the media had much more important things to report on then what they often did, but I don’t think this was one of them.

  2. Leadership matters. Though a leader does not do much alone, he/she is just a catalyst for the job get done. People follow leaders. Mr. Obama is going to be proven to be one of the greatest presidents and world leaders. He is a role model for socially challenged and elite; black, brown, yello and white, – all types. His personal behavior and action will be followed, and discussed.

  3. I believe that how a ‘person is in his personal life will show how he is in his professional one!’ if that statement holds any truth, then the the stakes are much higher when you are the president of the people, by the people. And hence, his personal life becomes a public one, and that the media continues to plastering his smoking habit as prime time news.

    I too, quit overnight 11yrs back and counting, and if ‘change’ is the motto then I guess he needs to implement that starting with himself.
    I too agree that if he is a role model for the youth, he needs to change his ‘bad’ image and correct that. He is also a role model for people all over the world, the US might have stricter policies of controlling smoking, but many other countries don’t, where the youth who take him as his role model might continue to take smoking as being acceptable.

    Maybe he quits in his first week when he takes office, it will be a good way to drive the point that ‘change is here’. Will the media then pick up on this and make it ‘entertaining’ or will they then try and dig deeper to find another fault?

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