Michelle Obama Goes Soft on Barack's Smoking Habit

michelle obamaMichelle Obama went on the Today Show this morning to talk about the one-year anniversary of the "Let's Move" anti-obesity campaign. But she ended up spilling a lot more gossip -- about her life in the White House, the conflict in Egypt, and even her husband's smoking habit.

Matt Lauer asked the First Lady to follow up on her comments from a Tuesday interview about President Obama quitting smoking. When he asked if she had a part in getting her husband to put the cigarettes down, Michelle replied:

Once he made the commitment to quit, I left him alone because it’s a very personal thing. I don’t think that there’s one right way to do it. I just know that once a person makes the decision, they have to find the best path. So I said when a person is doing the right thing, you leave ‘em alone.

Leaving a smoker alone? Michelle, you may actually be on to something!


That's certainly an about-face from Michelle's initial approach to her husband's habit: Back in 2007, she demanded that he quit smoking when he told her he was running for president. But though she may have played a role in his decision to quit, when it came to the process of quitting, she left him alone, knowing it was his battle to fight.

I don't have a discussion with him because it's always been ... it's a personal challenge for him. It's not something that I can be like "Have you smoked today, have you smoked today?"

Michelle's laid-back attitude toward her husband's quitting suggests their marriage is one of respect and trust. But personally? If I were in her shoes, I couldn't imagine being that easy-going about my husband's smoking habit, especially if we had children!

If I find myself wanting to marry a man who smokes, you can bet I plan to be very vocal about the fact that I don't support it as part of his everyday lifestyle and there's no way in hell I'm letting those cancer sticks around my kids. Whether he's our country's president or my future husband, if you're going to be a role model, then I think you need to act like one -- and that means no cigarettes. 

But for the Obamas, their method worked: Michelle quietly supported him and Obama supposedly hasn't smoked for almost a year. I understand that communication is key when working through a personal struggle with someone you love. And it's clear that the Obamas knew how to best deal with this particular battle: using communication, in their own way.

But I can't see this strategy working for me anytime soon.

Do you think Michelle was too easy on Barack about his smoking?

Image via dbking/ Flickr

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