Bill & Barack: Smoking Buddies?

By Natalie Gewargis

Jul 1, 2008 2:10pm

FROM GUEST-BLOGGER RICK KLEIN, from ABC’s The Note.

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama came down on different sides of the 1996 federal welfare-reform bill — and, of course, of a certain presidential primary 12 years later.

But maybe they have more in common than they realize.

Looking at old transcripts of debate in the Illinois state senate, a colleague turns up this nugget in the midst of a speech by state senator Barack Obama — a speech where Obama said he “probably would not have supported the federal [welfare] legislation” signed by President Clinton.

“I was outside late at night. I confess I was smoking a cigar; my wife doesn’t let smoke inside,” Obama said.

Obama has quit his cigarette habit. But might stogies be on the menu when 42 and the would-be 44 break bread?

– Rick Klein

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