HR Strange But True!
December 11, 2008

We see President-Elect Barack Obama playing basketball, but he must also box because he has been bobbing and weaving on the subject of the White House smoking ban.

On December 7, 2008, his last day as moderator on NBC's Meet the Press , Tom Brokaw asked Obama if he has stopped smoking and if he would ever break the White House prohibition against smoking. Evidently, he had “ducked” his answer to a similar question from Barbara Walters.

To the Brokaw question, “Have you stopped smoking?” Obama smiled and replied “I have, but there are times I have fallen off the wagon.” Pushed a little harder by Brokaw, Obama then stated “I think I have done a terrific job--under the circumstances in making myself healthier--You will not see any violations of these rules in the White House.”

To twist a quote from a former president, it depends on what your definition of “in” is. Does this mean someone could catch the new president smoking behind the presidential wood shed on White House grounds?

Better not. If his secretary of state Hillary Clinton caught him, he'd have hell to pay since she imposed the no-smoking rule at the White house. And what would Michelle Obama do?

Responding to a comment by Washington Post Columnist Marc Fisher , a reader of that newspaper argued that “smoking at the White House, as a federal facility, is regulated by the portions of the Code of Federal Regulations. Interestingly, it appears the office parts of the White House would be required to be smoke-free, but a smoking area could be designated in the residence part. Of course, the WH is also a historic building, so those regs would apply as well.”

Sources: MSNBC and Washington Post

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