Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Obama Scrutinized Health Of Veep Candidates

In a remarkable admission, Sen. Evan Bayh told WISH-TV political reporter Jim Shella that he was required to undertake a physical exam and provide a blood test as part of the vetting process by Sen. Barack Obama's vice presidential selection team. He was also questioned about whether he had ever been treated for mental depression. As Shella notes, that latter question is known as the Tom Eagleton question in reference to the discovery that Sen. Eagleton had undergone electro-shock therapy to treat depression. That disclosure led Sen. George McGovern to dump Eagleton from his ticket in 1972 and replace him with Sargent Shriver.

It is curious that the Obama team would so closely scrutinize the veep candidate's health when he has shown a complete unwillingness to open up his own health records. While Sen. John McCain released hundreds of pages detailing his health history, Obama released a simple one-page letter from his doctor. Although Obama's doctor claimed in late May that Obama was in "excellent health", he acknowledged he hadn't undergone a physical examination in 16 months. This is of particular concern given the history of cancer in his family, the fact he smoked for many years and abused hard drugs in his late teens and early twenties, and both of his parents suffered from serious illnesses and died at young ages. His doctor's letter's only acknowledgement of medical difficulties was that he had treated him for upper respiratory infections and skin rashes in the past.

I'm curious what the Obama team did with the blood tests. Did they test them for HIV, Hepatitis or other blood-borne illnesses? Were they studying their DNA make-up? Were Obama's Chicago political hacks digging for all the dirt they could on potential political foes? If I had been in Bayh's shoes, I wouldn't have given a blood sample. Why should Obama know about the medical secrets of his veep candidates when he doesn't have the decency to air his own medical records with the American public? After all, it's his hand which we know will be on the nuclear button if he becomes president. It's worth noting that President John F. Kennedy, hid very serious problems from the public. His daughter, Caroline, ran Obama's vice presidential search efforts.

6 comments:

Vox Populi said...

20% of Americans over age 70 suffer from the early stages of Alzheimers or Dementia. John McCain has not taken a test for Alzheimers. Given the stress of the job, is this something he should do?

Sir Hailstone said...

"both of his parents suffered from serious illnesses and died at young ages."

Obama's? Didn't I read that Barack H. Obama Sr. died in a DUI car crash in Nairobi [Obama Sr. was the DUI]?

Advance Indiana said...

I believe McCain's mother is about a hundred years old and in excellent health. McCain probably has a better chance of being alive 8 more years than Obama if you compare their family histories. His father was an alcoholic and had serious health problems before crashing his car and killing himself at age 46. His mother was 51 when she died of ovarian cancer.

Vox Populi said...

Roberta McCain is 96 and is in as good of health as a 96-year-old woman can be.

I'm not saying McCain is more likely than Obama to die in the next 8 years, just that he's more likely to suffer from a form of dementia such as Alzheimer's, which frankly is more dangerous than the president dying because it isn't always evident.

McCain has had several bouts with skin cancer, and his own father died at age 70 after suffering a major heart attack. The real point of this is you can never know what's going to happen, but McCain does have the most active and evident health concerns.

Lance Rasmussen said...

"Roberta McCain is 96 and is in as good of health as a 96-year-old woman can be.

I'm not saying McCain is more likely than Obama to die in the next 8 years, just that he's more likely to suffer from a form of dementia such as Alzheimer's, which frankly is more dangerous than the president dying because it isn't always evident.

McCain has had several bouts with skin cancer, and his own father died at age 70 after suffering a major heart attack. The real point of this is you can never know what's going to happen, but McCain does have the most active and evident health concerns."

His health concerns are only evident because he disclosed them.

Russell said...

I personally don't think that Obama is at risk of dying from ovarian cancer :)