I was sitting in the Oval Office sitting across from the most powerful person in the free world. His hair was greyer that it was 8 years ago, his face had obviously experienced accelerated aging from the extreme stress he experiences every day. I was looking at the face of President Barack Obama. Eight years ago Barack Obama was just a senator from Illinois who was running for the highest office in the land. That was before he had made history as the first black president, before he knew exactly how difficult his two terms in office would be, before he had to give up the sweet comfort of being able to smoke whenever he wanted.
The president leaned back in his chair as we began our interview. I asked him my first and only question as the entire interview soon turned into a twenty minute conversation wherein we lamented about how much simpler life had been pre-2008. “Mr. President” I asked, “What are you looking forward to doing most once you get out of the White House?”
“That’s easy, I can’t wait to start smoking again” answered the president.
Over the next 20 minutes President Obama outlined in great detail to me what his exact plans were for his first day out of public office. In addition to finally being able to smoke cigarettes again, the president said he was also excited about the fact that he would again be able to occasionally enjoy marijuana, something he has not done since first assuming public office in the late 90’s “The first thing I’m gonna do on January 21st is wake up, get out of bed, and just smoke a big ol’ joint” the president said. “I also can’t effing wait to be able to buy a pack of cigarettes and just smoke them whenever the ef I want.”
The president also expressed disappointment and anger with the double standard applied to him as a smoker compared to presidential candidate Donald Trump. “When I became president my advisors told me that in order to be a good role model for the youth of America I had to stop smoking. I’ve snuck a few cigarettes here and there, but for the most part I’ve gone eight years not smoking all while fighting a nicotine addiction. I mean if anyone needs a goddamn cigarette it’s the guy who needs to put up with all of America’s shit, but you know what, I did it, I quit smoking for the youth of this country because that’s what leaders do. And then this asshole [Trump] comes along and throws the entire role model thing out the window, running around just doing the most deplorable shit. It almost makes it feel like all the hardship I went through wasn’t even worth it”
At this point the president took out a cigarette and began smoking it. He explained to me that at this point he honestly didn’t care enough to keep up the ruse for another two months. “Before the 1960s if a president hadn’t smoked everyone would have thought that they were some sort of pansy. Now I can’t smoke? Who’s deciding all of this. I’m just so fucking done with this job. I did my best and now I’m done. America has made their bed, they can damn well sleep in it”