Obama Offers Nomination To Clinton If He Can Have A Cigarette
Barack Obama, who is rapidly gaining ground in Pennsylvania primary polls after long-time Clinton supporter Sen. Bob Casey Jr. gave his support to the Illinois Democrat, has considered dropping out of the presidential race for "just one holy cigarette, by God," according to comments he made today.
The leading Democratic candidate had given up smoking to pursue the party's nomination, but aides have admitted that the stress of quitting has put a tremendous strain on Obama.
"The Senator can't continue unless he gets his hands on a fag," explained one spokesperson, "and that pretty much puts him out of the running."
Though there remains speculation as to how the voting public would react to the image of a presidential candidate blowing smoke rings, many experts point to the similarities between this presidential race and that of the 1920 Harding-Cox contest, in which voters turned on Cox when it was reported that his wife once smoked a cigarette with Al Jolson.
"I remember that," commented John McCain.
With the exception of FDR, voters have shown a preference for non-smokers, which presents a dilemma for Obama: indulge in sweet, consuming relaxation of some good Turkish tobacco, or assume the Democratic nomination.
And despite offers from the cigarette industry lobby to make Senator Obama the face of Camel cigarettes in a $225 million advertising push, Obama remains conflicted over his past and future as a smoker.
"I smoked for years, and it's not something that you can just walk away from," Obama said in an interview with USA Today. "The presidency means a lot to me, but what good is it if I can't celebrate the nomination without standing out in front of my constituents and lighting up a victory Camel Light, now with reduced tar and available at most convenience stores everywhere? There's no joy in it."
Conjecture continues as to whether or not Obama will opt to spend another four years chain smoking on his back porch and get himself relaxed for the next presidential race in 2012. Some analysts expect that he will continue to abstain from smoking and comfort himself with fantasies of building a smoking lounge in the basement of the White House, presumably by replacing the Richard Nixon Memorial bowling alley.
Polls show that many voters remain skeptical of a habitual smoker's ability to lead the nation. The anti-cigarette lobby has been particularly incredulous.
"It's one thing to follow a pastor who curses America, which is just the crazy talk of angry black people -- nothing we haven't heard before," said Gina Robertson of SMUG (Smokers Make Us Gag) in reference to the inflammatory sermons of Reverend Wright, Obama's former pastor. "But what happens if the phone rings at 3 AM with mission control on the other end telling the President that a nuclear bomb is headed for New York City, and he has to have a smoke before he can make up his mind? Gives you the chills."
"And why would we elect a president that has a 50% greater chance of dying of lung cancer before his 50th birthday?" further posited Robertson. "That's just throwing our votes and credibility away."