This new YouTube video features President Obama chewing his nicotine gum in public - first at the G8 summit, later at the G20 summit in Toronto and finally in front of children in the Oval Office. I feel Obama's pain.
I have studied up on addiction and done plenty of work for charities that seek to combat alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATODs). One of my first jobs, for example, was with a government program called L.A. Link that was focused on reducing illegal nicotine use among adolescents in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. I remember interviewing a heroin addict who told me she thought it was easier to beat heroin than nicotine.
I'm not completely surprised that Obama's addiction to nicotine makes him feel that chewing nicotine gum in public is a small price to pay for stopping the withdrawal effects of nicotine. They can be overwhelming. I knew the young Obama while he was a sophomore at Occidental College in Los Angeles. We were both smokers then. I remember that I could not go a day without two packs of Marlboro Lights. Quitting cigarettes is still one of the great achievements of my life.
I was startled, however, when I learned from Jerome Corsi's book, Obama Nation, that candidate Obama was still smoking cigarettes. In fact, Corsi went out of his way to show that the manner in which Obama easily lied and hid his addiction to cigarettes was similar to his willingness to lie and misrepresent other key elements in his life story.
These video clips, however, demonstrate that Obama has gone off the deep end and - even worse - the media is not all that interested in covering up for him anymore. The liberal media hid FDR's affairs and polio, it hid John Kennedy's affairs and dependence on pain killers, it hid John Edwards infidelity - but not his affection for his hair. I think it is healthy for America that the media is no longer shy about exposing Obama's nicotine addiction.
Checking out the comments, by the way, the creator of the YouTube video indicates he got at least two of these clips from a White House website: "I had the first clip and thought it looked like he was chewing gum but I wasn't sure. The White House posted the White House Week video today where I found the other two clips."
John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.