No More Alcohol Rehab Defense?

He was among Congress's heaviest smokers, but now former Majority Leader Dick Armey has given up his Carlton menthol 100s. "I was just thinking about my wife one day," he tells us, "and I realized that of all the things I could do on this Earth that would make her happy is to quit smoking." Just like that, he did.

"If a guy knows that, then it seems to me a guy has got to quit." Certainly, his wife, Susan, had told him many times before to snuff out the nasty habit. "I heard it a lot, of course," he says, but it didn't sink in until about two months ago. "We don't want to shock and startle your women readers, but even though I heard it over the years, I guess I'm living proof that on some occasions, some husbands sometimes actually hear what their wives say."

Still, he did question his move. "I spent the next four weeks of my life trying to figure out if her happiness really meant that much to me." It went so well that he's not sympathetic to others like Sen.Barack Obama, who chews Nicorette to get over the habit. "If he's chewing this stuff, he's not stopped smoking," says Armey, who revealed a broader skepticism of crutches used by those with bad habits.

"I'm laughing now, but if we ever indict a Mormon in Congress, what is the guy going to do, because he can't check into an alcohol rehab facility. ... I don't know what a politician that's indicted does if he can't check into rehab and say, 'The whiskey did it.'"

By Paul Bedard