Obama balcony picture creates burning question

For those with too much time on their hands and too many conspiracies to ponder, the Internet rumor-mill is swirling around the burning question:

Is that a cigarette in President Obama’s hand, or is he just happy to see Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi?

A photograph posted to Instagram on Sunday by Renzi’s spokesman shows the president standing on a balcony with the prime minister, holding something in his hands.

Talking #elmau #g7 #cosedilavoro #germania

A photo posted by Nomfup (@nomfup) on

Obama was attending the G7 conference in Germany when he had a private moment with Renzi, and of course, smoking inside an office is verboten in Deutschland, leading the tin-foil-hat section of the Internet to the conclusion that the president is taking a smoke break.

That is, if anyone actually cared if the president smoked.

The Hill reported in 2013 that during a conversation with a Kenyan civil rights lawyer, the president admitted “I haven’t had a cigarette in probably six years.”

Given that it’s commonly reported that Obama chews nicotine replacement gum around the White House, could that be what he was reaching for?

In keeping with the seriousness of the charge of smoking on the balcony, various theories have been advanced on Twitter to explain the photo.

Now we can all move on with our lives.

Steve Berman

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