To Court Blue-Collar Vote, Light Up

Fellow Nicorette user urges Obama to take up smoking again
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2008 10:00 AM CDT
Barack Obama reacts to cheers from supporters after speaking to grassroots activists and Camp Obama graduates in New York, Wednesday Aug. 22, 2007.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Everyone has ideas about how Barack Obama can attract the working-class white voters that eluded him in the primaries. Author Tony Horwitz goes for the throat: Start smoking again. West Virginia and Kentucky, where Hillary Clinton clobbered Obama, lead the nation in cigarette consumption among whites, and lighting up could help worse-off voters see him as one of their own.

As Horwitz writes in the New York Times, nothing could help Obama more with suspicious voters than "interrupting the flow of his soaring oratory with a smoker’s hack." Not any brand will do, however. Obama will have to forgo posh Dunhills, effete Gauloises, and the Newports black smokers favor; instead, he should choose Nascar-sponsoring Winston, "an old-fashioned coffin nail."