November 20, 2008

Obama's smoking, meds, fear of public nakedness, etc.

Michael Kinsley writes about something the press studiously ignored during our recent campaign, which sure seemed more like an extended coronation ceremony than an actual contest: although he claimed he was quitting, Obama still smokes.

One way he avoided press scrutiny in general was by not traveling by bus to campaign events with the press on-board. Instead, he's grabbed a ride with a campaign staffer and light up a cigarette.

With Obama's high-strung, sensitive personality, it's likely a good thing that he self-medicates with cigarettes. The odds of him coming down with lung cancer and making Joe Biden President are not infinitesimal, but they aren't so high that we'd want Obama to be himself with no nicotine in his system to calm him down.

It's interesting that there is no press interest in whatever else he might be medicated with. Obama released a brief, unrevealing letter from his doctor awhile back, but it didn't mention what prescription drugs he has taken.

I would guess that Obama has been on anti-depressants at least once in his life, and probably tranquilizers as well. Not that there's anything wrong with that! The number of people who have benefited from these kind of drugs must be in the scores of millions by now. For example, I had prescriptions for both anti-depressants and tranquilizers for about six weeks after being diagnosed with cancer in 1996. In particular, the tranquilizers were effective in fending off panic attacks. I was prone to having a panic attack not only over fear of dying but, more debilitatingly, I would get a panic attack over fear that I would have a panic attack -- a rather nasty vicious circle. After a couple of weeks, just having the bottle of Xanax in my pocket was reassuring enough that if I started having a panic attack, I could quell it, so I didn't even have to take Xanax any more -- just carry it around like a good luck charm for another month.

Finally, a reader who lives in the same apartment complex as Obama's mystery man Mike Signator offers a plausible explanation of why Obama often briefly visits Signator's apartment after working out in the apartment building's gym: to take a private shower. In an age of cellphone cameras, the last thing we need on the Internet are pictures of the President-Elect in the health club shower.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve, if you had a clue in that thick head of yours, you would understand that our enlightened elites will decide "what is art" and "why Sarah Palin is dumb" and "why Obama is a genius" and etc etc.

Just shut up and watch them work! They are "the actors of history" -- not you!

Listen:

Piss Christ is a work of high art. Baron Cohen is film. Drudge is journalism. Gehry is architecture. Ben Stein is a great public intellectual in our society. Alan Greenspan is the economic genius of our time. Phillip Roth is the literary lion of our age. The Sundance Channel is the peak of artistic expression.

Sarkozy is brilliant. Krugman is a sage. Lieberman is deep. Emmanuel is a genius. Soros is on a higher plane. Geithner is a phenom. Albright is nuanced. Kristol, Friedman, Podhoretz, Summers, Goldberg, Krauthammer, Schumer, Greenspan, Roubini, Kudlow, Cramer, Barney Frank -- a plethora of scintillating intellectuals.

THESE PEOPLE WILL GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS MAJOR FIGURES OF EVER-EXPANDING GREATNESS AND TIMELESS ACCOMPLISHMENT AD INFINITUM ETC.

And, no, there isn't an ethno-centric echo chamber known as the "media" that relentlessly promotes a certain hyper-critical perspective as normal.

No. That idea is all in your head. Only schmucks without an agent would think such a thing.

BGC said...

"With Obama's high-strung, sensitive personality, it's likely a good thing that he self-medicates with cigarettes."

It is a reasonable point and I agree that many people function better with some form of psychotropic self-medication; except that you can self-medicate much more safely with nicotine gum, lozenges or patches.

However cigarettes give a bigger 'hit' due to rapid drug absorption, and maybe the hit is what Obama likes or needs.

Henry Canaday said...

Well, the only two men to last for more than ten years as CEOs of airlines flying in deregulated markets, Herb Kelleher of Southwest and Bob Crandall of American, were both heavy smokers. Some jobs just require steady puffing.

Kelleher eventually quit, in the sense that he stopped buying his own cigarettes. He then mooched from his staff, who were happy to keep him medicated and Southwest financially strong.

Marc said...

Agreed regarding tranquilizers. I take xanax every day for social/generalized anxiety disorder and Obama's performance during interviews reminded me of the "marble calm" I experienced when I first started taking the medication and which, I suspect, many people who do not take the medication regularly experience when they are on it.

I have no problem with a President who takes xanax occasionally - or even every day. The stuff has certainly helped *my* job performance, and I interpret his decision to use it as indicative of a high IQ. Nor do I have a problem with him not making his prescription drug use public. It would be perceived as weakness and undercut his base's confidence in him.

Anonymous said...

Re: Obama takes showers in Signator's apartment.

Since he lives very close to the gym, wouldn't it be simpler to just go home after a work out and shower there?

Your theory that he drops by Signator's apartment to smoke is much more plausible.

Blode032222 said...

I didn't you had cancer, Mr. S. I'm glad you didn't die! I trust it is in complete remission. I'd send you some flowers if it were either years ago (but I'd sign them with a girl's name to avoid awkwardness).

David said...

Anonymous - you left out their favorites, the Denzels and Morgan Freemans and Condoleezzas and Oprahs.

Everyone else is "white trash."

If you point this out and object, you're a hater and a Nazi!

But back to Barry's nicotine addiction...

Were you aware that today is the Great Smoke-Out? I lit up a fine Davidoff in honor of the day.

C. Van Carter said...

So Obama does know what it means to be a member of a persecuted minority.group.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if he's bipolar. A fair number of successful politicians are. If so, there's a big risk of suicide during depressive phases.

Anonymous said...

Has anybody noticed how bad Obama looks lately? I saw a picture of him recently from when he started his campaign 20 months ago. Compared to today, he looks like he has aged 20 years. He has a lot more lines in his face, his hair has started to go gray (there wasn't a fleck of gray in it when he started his campaign), and his color has gone from being a healthy light brown to a rather ashen, greyish complexion. I wonder if the campaign has worn him out or if he has serious health problems (which would explain why he didn't release any detailed medical records)?

Anonymous said...

Obama needs to get himself some snus, or an e-cig, so he can get the benefits of nicotine without all the health risks.

Anonymous said...

"Has anybody noticed how bad Obama looks lately?"

There's a video that shows Obama after he was briefed from the CIA and such on things the president gets to learn once he's elected, and he looked really shaken up afterward. So he must have learned all kinds of crazy secrets in that session (Aliens are our masters?).

Bill said...

There's a video that shows Obama after he was briefed from the CIA and such on things the president gets to learn once he's elected, and he looked really shaken up afterward. So he must have learned all kinds of crazy secrets in that session (Aliens are our masters?).

Probably more like the Russians and Chinese are about to snatch away America's superpower status and shove us out of all our areas of influence. Obama's in over his head. We Americans are in for a serious slapping around for a while.

Bill said...

Obama needs to get himself some snus, or an e-cig, so he can get the benefits of nicotine without all the health risks.

Then they'd have to reintroduce spittoons in the Oval Office. Now that would be funny.

miss marple hates you weirdos said...

Take it easy. Do you want Biden running the country?

Reader said...

So he must have learned all kinds of crazy secrets in that session (Aliens are our masters?).


Maybe he's finally been clued in that his job is to play Lenin in the upcoming political upheaval, which will follow the impending economic collapse of the United States and the next false-flag terrorist attack (we're already being prepped for this with all these reports about "al-Qaeda" messages, and remember that both the 1993 WTC bombings and 9/11 occurred during the first year of Clinton's and Bush's respective presidencies).

He promised change, and he's gonna deliver, baby!

Reader said...

As far as Obama's smoking and possible prescription drug use, I always figured Bush was popping pills and possibly drinking heavily - he was definitely *really* out of it a lot of the time (during one of the debates with Kerry he was clearly doped up), and it would also explain why he was always falling over, choking on pretzels, etc.

Reader said...

And hey, looks like Larry Summers is going to be the next Secretary of the Treasury. Wait, is that the same Larry Summers who engineered the plan that left the eight "oligarchs", seven of whom were Jewish, in control of most of Russia's natural resource wealth during the collapse of the Soviet Union? And now he's going to be in charge during America's economic collapse? Wonderful!

Quercus said...

Obama needs to get himself some snus, or an e-cig, so he can get the benefits of nicotine without all the health risks.

Then they'd have to reintroduce spittoons in the Oval Office. Now that would be funny.

Funny as that would be, snus is spit-free dipping tobacco. Anyone could tuck it under his tongue and you would never notice it.

patrick said...

Kools or Newports?

Anonymous said...

"And hey, looks like Larry Summers is going to be the next Secretary of the Treasury. Wait, is that the same Larry Summers who engineered the plan that left the eight "oligarchs", seven of whom were Jewish, in control of most of Russia's natural resource wealth during the collapse of the Soviet Union? And now he's going to be in charge during America's economic collapse? Wonderful!"

Please, let Obama pick a non-Jew for Treasury. Can't it be a Puerto Rican for once? Ugh. Whoever gets picked to hold that lightening rod is going to be in for a shit storm.

A Jew

nsam said...

A puff of pot wouldn't be a bad idea either.

http://www.physorg.com/news143205542.html

Anonymous said...

First anonymous,
Your effort to paint a "Jews rule us" scenario looks desperate. We have Jewish friends in the paleo and conservative community and some, like Dawn Eden and Auster, are Christians.

This post seems nihilistic and nihilism never wins anything. Where's your evangelism?

SFG said...

Don't snus give you cancer of the jaw?

John Craig said...

I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned how Obama has, by his own admission, taken much stronger drugs than nicotine in the past.

I wonder if the cocaine/alcohol abuse in his past has somehow contributed to a need for something calming these days.

He did seem awfully calm during all his debates. I remember on the rare occasions when I had to give speeches to a hundred plus people, I would go into the men's room and quickly chug one of those little airport bottles of vodka beforehand; I know I came across better as a result, if only by virture of the placebo effect. I have to wonder if Obama hasn't taken advantage of something similar. His voice never shook, or even seemed breathy the way that happens when people get nervous, but he did seem to regularly pause to gather his thoughts together during his answers, which is also a possible sign of some sort of substance in the brain.

testing99 said...

A lot of performers including artists both classical and pop have used booze and anxiety reducing drugs to calm the jitters before the show.

However, the best eventually just stop and use past expertise and technique to stop being worried.

When I first started making big-pressure presentations, I had the jitters. NOW, it's become something I prep for but don't worry about. I watch my audience for flagging interest, displeasure, emotional buttons, etc. Have prepared jokes, all that stuff. The minutae of technique is calming itself, as is past success.

I don't think self-medication really addresses the problem, which comes down to confidence. This is separate from deep anxiety over a medical condition, however.

Obama is probably been briefed on how shaky Pakistan is, how likely AQ is to get a nuke or two and blow up NYC, or Iran give AQ a nuke.

I don't think anyone here appreciates the impact of nuclear proliferation on national security -- it means that groups like AQ can "borrow" nukes to kill US cities to get money and men for their exile Armies (Zawahari wants to conquer Egypt with one).

Once we lose a major Western City (NYC, Copenhagen) then anyone else can copy that means (deniable proxies) and nuke away unless retaliation is so terrible. There goes Obama's plan to get rid of nukes. Proliferation means major powers need as many nukes as possible and minor ones without protection they can count on have to nuke up too. Of course Russia will probably be deterred from swallowing Eastern Europe by Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic nuking up too.

But the technology proliferation is a game-changer.

Anonymous said...

Obama has never been in charge of anything. What does he know about stress? (besides being married to Michelle).

David Davenport said...

... how likely AQ is to get a nuke or two and blow up NYC ...

Is that a bug, or a feature?

Bill said...

SFG said...
Don't snus give you cancer of the jaw?


Strangely, cigarettes are more likely to do that. The reason men in Scandinavia now live almost as long or longer than women is that the women smoke more and the men dip more.

Snus has risks, but they are far, far lower than cigarettes. But of course, spitting chaw isn't that fashionable.

Bill said...

When I first started making big-pressure presentations, I had the jitters. NOW, it's become something I prep for but don't worry about.

-testing99


So who's your backup, Jack or Jim?

:)

Why don't you put one of those presentations up on your blog, whiskey? I could use a lesson or two in that kind of thing.

Anonymous said...

If a western city gets blown up, every nuclear site in the dar al Islam is going to be struck in retaliation no matter who's in charge.

Jun said...

Not about Obama's smoking, but on who Obama really is:

Shelby Steele on President-Elect Obama

Anonymous said...

I heard he smokes English Ovals (which despite the name are made here in the USA by the good people at Phil. Morris). Nevertheless Axelrod has "leaked" that (red state) Marlboros are Obama's "coffin nails" of choice.

Hail Victory! Hail Obama!

Anonymous said...

'The President is tobacco-free': Obama's doctor confirms the 'Smoker-in-Chief' has quit