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Cigarettes for Obama

My name is K. I cannot tell you anymore than that. I am a government agent, attached to an obscure agency but assigned to the White House. My job is to get cigarettes for POTUS.

This is possibly the touchiest assignment I have ever had. I used to bring women into the White House for John Kennedy and for other presidents I will not mention, but this is far tougher. A fetching East German spy? A girlfriend of a Mafioso? No problemo. But just try getting cigarettes into the White House. It takes all my cunning.

Every morning before dawn, I wait for a coded message on my BlackBerry. “Puff, puff,” it sometimes says. “Coffin nail,” is another one he uses. (Now you know why he insisted on keeping his BlackBerry.) When I get the signal, I spring into action. I head to the agency motor pool (secret location). I take a different car each time and then drive around for a while to see if I’m being followed by either the anti-smoking zealots or al-Qaeda terrorists. We fear them both.

I never go to the same 7-Eleven twice in a row. I disguise myself and, if they ask, use a false name -- Eric Cantor, usually. (This is Rahm’s idea.) I buy several different brands, just to throw anyone off the scent, and then I drive around for a bit before going to the White House. I park and enter with the tourists and then, at the proper time, I toss the pack to an aide. In a beat, I can almost hear POTUS exhale. Soooo good!

I lay awake at night trembling at what would happen if terrorists found out where I get cigarettes for POTUS. What if they got to the dealer and snuck something into the pack, or the cigarettes themselves. I remember when we, I mean the government, tried to kill Castro with a poisonous cigar. I remember how we got other world leaders with their cigarettes or their cigars or, in one case, a Meerschaum pipe -- one of those with a deep bowl, good for Balkan Sobranie Original Mixture, which is 40 percent Latakia. I shudder at the thought.

Why do I do this? I think it’s because no presidential aide will. It’s considered demeaning, and, anyway, I think POTUS hides his habit. He goes into the Situation Room, clears it out of all unnecessary personnel (UNPs) and has a cigarette. He doesn’t know, of course, that both the CIA and Nancy Pelosi are secretly watching.

Bob Barnett has asked me to write about my career, but I will not. I will talk about the girls -- stuff you will not believe -- (Did you know the Lincoln Bedroom is named for the car?) but not about the cigarettes. (You know what’s in that attaché case that’s always with POTUS? Not the atomic code. It’s an ashtray.)

Oops, there goes the ol’ BlackBerry. POTUS gotta puff.

By Richard Cohen  | March 1, 2010; 11:14 AM ET
Categories:  Cohen  | Tags:  Richard Cohen  
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You are throwing yourself to the wolves today with this "puff" piece.

Hope the chuckles are worth it!

Posted by: trident420 | March 1, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I thought Andy Borowitz had the best take on this "story": Obama to GOP: "I'll stop smoking if you will stop being d**ks"

Posted by: jaltman1 | March 1, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Well Cohen, let's mention one of those other unmentionable presidents...G. H. W. Bush had a mistress coincidentally named Barbara for many years.
How 'bout "Cigarettes for Israel?"

Posted by: mot2win | March 1, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Hey Cohen, tell us about your sniffing habits on the Villagers' circus! I bet Sally Quinn really provides the goods at her parties.

Posted by: Gatsby10 | March 1, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who believes that the man with the "nuclear briefcase" should be allotted a cigarette if he feels the urge?...If an occasional cigarette relaxes him, Presidential smokes are a net-positive for the National Security Interests of the United States of America!

Posted by: TruthHurts2 | March 1, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

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