Puff Job

Did Obama Kick the Habit?

Barack Obama has not yet begun breaking his promises to the American people, but he has already run afoul of his wife. In February 2007, Obama said he promised Michelle he would quit smoking, but this June he admitted he hadn’t. "If Obama actually has accomplished the miracle of giving up cigarettes at the apogee of a presidential race," Michael Kinsley writes in The Washington Post, "he should be happy to let us know this and add to his superman image." And if he hasn’t? For all the attention John McCain’s melanoma received, Obama’s smoking was covered very little. The death rate for smokers age 45 over the next decade is twice that of non-smokers. But that risk may carry large returns. "Obama’s steely calm is now one of our country’s major assets," Kinsley writes. "If he needs an occasional cigarette to preserve it, let’s hand him an ashtray, offer him a light, and look the other way."