Obama reveals the number of cigarettes he has smoked in the White House


BARACK OBAMA PHOTO/COURTESY
BARACK OBAMA PHOTO/COURTESY

United States President, Barack Obama, has disclosed the number of cigarettes he has smoked in his second term in office while living in the White House, his official residence as the Head of State.

Did you think they’d be many? Am sorry, you could be disappointed.

Obama, who has spoken candidly about his struggles with smoking habit, disclosed in an interview with GQ magazine’s Bill Simmons that he has smoked no cigarettes in the White House.

He told Mr Simmons: “Zero in the last five years. I made a promise that once health care passed, I would never have a cigarette again. And I have not.”

Obama attempted to kick the habit during his first presidential campaign in 2008 but admitted he “fell off the wagon and bummed a cigarette a couple of times”.

In 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama was quoted by the Washington Post as saying that her husband had officially quit smoking “almost a year” before.

Michelle was also supposedly the driving force behind these efforts, reports People: Obama was overheard telling an attendee at a 2013 UN General Assembly meeting that he quit smoking because “I’m scared of my wife.”

POTUS has been known to chew Nicorette nicotine gum as a replacement for his cigarettes, and he was at one point criticised by the Indian media for chewing gum while attending India’s annual Republic Day parade.

The 5 people Obama will pick their calls if he’s out on date with Michelle

Anyone who has been in a relationship can tell you that picking calls while you are on a date can earn you a cold night on the couch.

But being the leader of the free world, Obama has to make a few exceptions.

President Barack Obama will pick calls from only five people if he is having dinner with his wife, Michelle Obama.

Obama says he will pick calls from his two daughters; Malia and Sasha, his mother-in-law, his National Security Advisor and his Chief of Staff.

“Malia and Sasha. (laughs) And maybe my mother-in-law. My National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, and Denis McDonough, my Chief of Staff. Those are the only people whose call I would take during a date night with Michelle,” he confessed.

President Obama, who joined Twitter in May 2015 after seven years of being in office, also disclosed the challenges he faces in using the social media platform.

“Speed. You are on 24/7 – you have to respond immediately,” he stated, before adding: “The job of our office, to keep up and to respond quickly to anything that’s happening but not be consumed by it, is completely different. We’ve been building a digital team inside the White House.”

A digital team inside the White House – when did that start, considering the President joined Twitter and Facebook when his term on office is almost coming to an end?

Obama responded: “Too late. That’s an example of something that I would’ve started earlier. That was a lesson that coming out of the first term, I should’ve understood. That’s why we built this team.”

The U.S. leader says he’s awed by his two daughters’ adeptness in consuming technology.

“It’s so interesting watching my daughters. Both are complete ninjas on the phone, right? And they can do things that I don’t even understand—they’re doing it in two seconds. But I even see a difference between Malia, who’s 17, and Sasha, who’s 14.”

Obama added: “There’s almost a mini-generational gap in terms of Sasha being so connected seamlessly to this smartphone in a way that Malia, who was already a little bit older when it really started to take, is not.”

Speaking of her daughters constantly being on phone, how many times has the commander in chief said to his daughters, “stop Googling me.”

“I don’t have to tell them that. They have no interest in me. I mean, they’re hopefully interested in me as a father,” said Obama.

If Obama could go back to 2008 and tell himself one thing, what would it be?

He said: “You’re going to be busy.” Coming in, we were going through an unprecedented economic upheaval, combined with an upheaval in the Middle East that we hadn’t seen in our lifetimes. There was going to be a huge amount of disruption. I would probably tell myself to communicate more effectively early on than I did.”

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Brian Okoth
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