Friday, February 09, 2007

Obama: Marlboro Man for President

An interesting take on the Obama-smoking affair:

In an era where candidates choose a necktie and suit colors and hairstyles -- and just about everything else superficial -- based on focus groups, a front page photo spread of Barack Obama dragging on a Marlboro, would certainly give the image consultant on the campaign trail a heart attack.


Maybe not. Some election watchers think an occasional story about a candidate with a vice could be a good thing for a campaign. Michael Schaffer writes in the New Republic:


"In an age when too many politicians come off as blow-dried confections whose every decision is based on some calculus of future advancement, a public image can actually be helped by the occasional evidence of vice -- at least the variety of it that doesn't involve interns, pages or choked mistresses."

I think this is a win-win IF he really stops smoking: he wins the vote of the people who are biased against smoking because he quit, and he wins the smoker vote because he used to smoke and knows how extraordinarily hard it is to stop (80% of smokers have tried to quit at one time or another).

Obama: Marlboro Man for President


There Are Much More Important Issues on the Table Than Smoking



Feb. 8, 2007 — - Hey, have you heard the latest gossip from the campaign trail? Don't tell anyone I told you, but Barack Obama smokes cigarettes -- can you believe it?


No, I'm not actually suggesting it's breaking news I'm passing along -- it hasn't been a secret for a month. But when I was passed along an interview he did with the Chicago Tribune last week, it sure felt like a reporter trying to start a news cycle of "can a smoker win?" stories or a campaign operative trying to start a whisper campaign of "do we really want one of those smokers being our nominee?"


My first reaction was to wonder whether we were talking about the race for homecoming king or president of the United States. We're all adults -- at least those running for president, those covering the race and those with votes to be won over.


Does it really matter if Obama smokes?


Post a Comment

<< Home