Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Can we Trig-er the release of Sarah Palin’s medical records?

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Originally published on on Mon, 11/03/2008 – 10:32am

Is there something medically wrong with Sarah Palin? Should we be concerned about the health of an otherwise normal 44-year-old woman?

Okay, nobody seems to believe that. But Gov. Palin has not released her medical records, and this is the day before the election.

Joe Biden, who has had health issues over the years, did release his medical records a couple of weeks ago, later than you might have expected. Biden did suffer a brain aneurysm 20 years ago, though it’s not generally talked about in this campaign. But he seems to be in good shape in that regard.

Biden did have an episode of an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation in July 2006, and possibly another self-corrected incident. But at least we do know this about Sen. Biden.

You can’t objectively say the medical records issue has gone well for either major party. Biden’s disclosure may prove to be the most complete. John McCain allowed some reporters to look at (and not take notes in any form) of some of his medical records, an appalling scenario from a candidate who is 72 and has had several attacks of melanoma.

Barack Obama hasn’t fared much better; Obama’s campaign did not release actual records, though his personal physician wrote a letter attesting to his health. Obama, a recovering smoker whose mother died from cancer, should have been more forthcoming.

But Sarah Palin has been completely non-forthcoming with her medical records. Oh, Palin did tell Brian Williams the records would be released. And the campaign told ABC’s Kate Snow they would be released early next week (that was supposed to be last week). Yet, there are still NO medical records.

So why hasn’t Palin released her medical records? Is it for the reason the MSM won’t speak of, and is it that reason that prevents the MSM from asking more questions?

I’m not the only one who wonders if the answer stems from the unspoken MSM question. Andrew Sullivan has been chasing extensively for this answer; while he has asked more questions than I have, my curiosity has not wavered since the rumors first circulated:

Is the reason why Sarah Palin will not disclose her medical records is that they will prove once and for all that she is not the mother of Trig Palin?

For those who might think this is a witch hunt, or that we’re being unfair to a female candidate, we don’t really care in the grand scheme if Bristol Palin is the mother of the child.

If Sarah Palin isn’t the mother of the child, she voluntarily chose on her own to set up an extensive elaborate story. And set up an extensively elaborate story about her own teenage daughter (mono for 5 months??). The voters will have to decide whether Palin deserves a significant promotion if she is proved to be as a liar of high proportions.

But if Gov. Palin is covering for another health problem that has nothing to do with the birth of Trig, and won’t disclose this because of the Trig issue, there is a bigger problem.

We expect our presidents and presidential candidates to not be an unknown health risk. Same goes for our vice presidents and vice presidential candidates. Anything can happen at any time. William Henry Harrison was healthy before Inauguration Day in 1840, caught pneumonia during his inauguration speech 30 days later. What we do is to try and know everything we can about our potential leaders.

True, this wasn’t always the case (John F. Kennedy – Addison’s disease; Franklin D. Roosevelt – polio; Ronald Reagan – Alzheimer’s ??). But we now know it is vital to our democracy to know. One recent example was Paul Tsongas in 1992. The poor handling of Tsongas’ medical information proved once and for all that full compliance is the only way to go. Tsongas died two days before what would have been the end of his first term, had he been elected in 1992.

In a presidential year where the medical disclosure has been a joke, the refusal of Sarah Palin to completely do anything, regardless of reason, is a dangerous precedent future candidates (perhaps even herself in 2012) will try and use to their advantage. In a democracy, this isn’t a chance we should take.


Written by democracysoup

November 3, 2008 at 10:32 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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