Monday, February 12, 2007


We have now established that a majority of Americans no longer consider infidelity to be a big deal when it comes to their politicians.
Bill Clinton opened the door for our leaders to pretty much do whatever they want with whomever they want, in bed (or on a desk) and pay no price politically.

Those who found what he did to be inappropriate for a sitting President were silenced with the new conventional wisdom, established by the Democrats: Everybody cheats; it’s none of our business.

So now, it’s not a big deal if San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is drinking martini’s and having sexy-time with the spouses of his staff members. He’ll still get re-elected as long as he keeps marrying gay couples. No one in the Bay Area seems to care much. Then again, San Francisco isn’t known as a haven for values voters.

So infidelity is okay. But what about smoking?

It has now been established that the Democrats' fair-haired boy, Barack Obama, is a smoker.

I don’t really care if people smoke or not. I used to smoke and many of my friends do. The difference is that none of my buddies are considering a run for the White House.

So why should we care?

Obviously, smoking is bad for you. We all know this, but it’s my view that if you enjoy it to the point where you don’t care whether it’s going to kill you or not, then that’s your business.

But the President isn’t just some low-profile schmo. He’s the leader guy.

Despite the sour taste that people usually have in regards to their political leaders, the President is still a role model. He sets a moral tone and his behavior is more closely watched than ever in this era of mass media.

So, if the president is lighting up, and everyone knows it, doesn’t that serve as a pass (or at least an excuse) for young people to pick up the habit?

Isn’t it a bit harder to explain the dangers of smoking to your teenager, when he holds the Trump card of being able to say ‘The President does it, why can’t I?'

Bill Clinton’s behavior, which was viewed as harmless by his supporters, certainly did not help the insanely high, out of wed-lock birthrate in black communities where the former President is viewed very favorably.

A much higher percentage of the African-American population smokes than does the white community. Would having a cigarette smoker as the first black President help improve that situation? I doubt it.

So just quit Barack! Cold turkey. Right now.

I know it’s hard, but get some gum, or a patch. It couldn’t be any more difficult than some of the problems which you will inevitably face in your tenure as Commander-in-Chief during wartime.

And therein lies the rub.

If your willpower and resolve are too weak to quit doing something that is very likely to kill you at an early age, how can we expect you to overcome the obstacles that lie in wait for you in the Oval Office?

It’s very similar to the recent debacle eating up the John Edwards campaign where he refuses to fire a couple of bloggers whose writings contain vile, anti-Christian diatribes.

Amanda Marcotte's and Melissa McEwan's bigoted statements would have easily gotten them dismissed from almost any other job, but for some reason, Edwards refuses to fire them. It’s an easy call. If you’re running for the nation’s highest office, you shouldn’t struggle with a decision that’s this simple.

If elected to the Presidency, one will most likely agonize over life and death decisions every day. It shouldn’t spark a lot of confidence among the electorate if two of the leading Democratic contenders for the job, are struggling to such an extent with a couple of no-brainers.

Obama’s smoking habit should also be a concern to Democrats who have made it their crusade to ban smoking everywhere.

Here in California, I believe you can now only smoke in your room, in the dark and while completely covered by bed sheets or a large comforter.

Second only to the dangers of global warming, Democrats have made it their goal to pass anti-smoking legislation in order to save us from ourselves.

Some of their laws have been good ones, like banning smoking in restaurants and in the workplace. Others have been Draconian, such as extending the ban to bars and in some cases, public sidewalks.

So how is it going to look if Obama is given the nomination and the Democrats' standard bearer’s own behavior flies in the face of 20 years of that party’s progress in ridding the country of tobacco smoke. For God’s sake, who will Rob Reiner vote for?

Obama should quit smoking right now. Not just for himself, but for the kids with whom he surrounds himself with at his campaign events, and who see this charismatic, American success story as a role model.

Unlike our current president, Bill Clinton was not strong enough in the character department to leave his bad habits behind when he assumed the Presidency and I believe that America has paid a price because of it. Obama needs to avoid these mistakes, not only if elected, but as a candidate as well.

With all the positive media attention that he has received, he needs to make sure that he lives up to it, by setting a positive example.

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Anonymous said...

"Bill Clinton opened the door for our leaders to pretty much do whatever they want with whomever they want, in bed (or on a desk) and pay no price politically. " Bill Clinton??? What about JFK?!?

Shannonymous said...

First of all I gotta say that not all Democrats were unfazed/complacent about Clinton’s infidelity, nor do all of us think adultery is a minor offense. Personally I don’t think someone can be true to their own country if they can’t even be true to their own spouse. I loved Clinton before his scandals, but not after. I felt betrayed by him and could never trust him again; in my eyes his whole presidency and legacy were ruined by his tasteless behavior that not only disrespected a union that should be holy between two people, but the entire country.

That being said, I am bummed Obama is a smoker. Would I still vote for him? Yes, if he admits to his horrible habit and makes an effort to quit. I used to be a smoker and know how hard it is to quit. I used to have a lot of bad habits, all of which I quit, but smoking was the last to go because:
a. it was the hardest
b. it was the cheapest
c. it was still very socially acceptable in most places
d. I always had George Burns and others in the back of my mind; not EVERYONE dies from smoking, even though it is a definite danger
e. it was (and still is) LEGAL!

And as horrible as it is, we really have to keep that last one in mind. Until we outlaw cigarettes, we really can’t blame anyone for continuing to smoke them.

Has Obama released any statements regarding his smoking?

Amy P said...

Off topic, but I wanted to let you know I'm adding your blog to my blogroll tomorrow.


Falling Panda said...

Thanks a lot Amy, I appreciate it.

As for JFK, No one really knew what was going on inside the White House at that time. And if the media did, it was a different era. Media behaved differently back then.

Yes, we know now, but the potential scandals were given time to become less and less inportant in the scope of history as Kennedy's three years in office and untimely death became more and more distant in peoples mind.

In fact the incredible nature of his death has taken much of the focus off of his personal life as well as the sucesses and failures of his presidency.

As for Obama, no he has not adressed his smoking in any meaningful way. If it was a GOP candidate who was a smoker however, I guaruntee you that the press would have made more out of it than they did when Obama's smoking habit broke.

Anonymous said...

Actually in an interview on 60 Minutes Sunday night, Obama promised to give up smoking. His wife chimed in that if anyone saw him smoking they were to let her know immediately.

Anonymous said...

Actually in an interview on 60 Minutes Sunday night, Obama promised to give up smoking. His wife chimed in that if anyone saw him smoking they were to let her know immediately.

VE said...

Wow, that was a Fox News report? Imagine that.

Falling Panda said...

Wow VE! Two Sarcastic comments, on two separate posts, posted within two minutes of each other! Only a gifted writer such as yourself could summon the creative juices to come up with such gold.

You must be exhausted. Go treat yourself to a well earned nap.

Seriously though dude, you know I love ya.

VE said...

Yeah, alas, sarcasm (refuge of the weak that it is) seems to be my only MO these days for personal reasons.
Maybe one day critical engagement will return to me....