I just had an impromptu conversation with some colleagues about what to make of Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway at once hammering Clinton’s medical secrecy while also saying that Dr. Oz agrees with her that Trump has a “right to privacy” when it comes to his health records.
Let’s start with the most obvious question: What on earth does Dr Oz have to do with this.
And then to the second most obvious point: This stunt where they’re supposedly going to hand over Trump’s medical records to Dr Oz before Trump or anyone on the campaign sees them and let Oz discuss them with the public is a classic reality tv type stunt and also unquestionably bogus. There’s no way they are letting that happen. And I must make reference to the fact that the once seemingly half-way legitimate Dr Oz is implicated in all manner of supplement and other type scams and hokum. So in a way it makes sense that he’s hooked up with Trump since he must be hooked up, karmically if not ‘really’, with celebrity Dr Ben Carson as part of the group of people who’ve moved on from doctoring to medical grift. Perhaps Dr Oz is the weirdo breakout candidate of the 2020 GOP pack. Who knows?
Anyway, back to Conway.
What did this mean exactly saying Trump has a “right to privacy”? I would agree that I don’t think the public has the right or need to know every last detail of a potential president’s medical condition. But they have the right to information which gives a broad view of the person’s current health, health history and ability to withstand the rigors of the job. But Trump has just said he’s going to be releasing a lot of information – probably to try to contrast himself with Clinton. That makes sense. That’s a smart political move – if he actually does it. So why is Conway seemingly pushing back against disclosure? They’re supposed to be pushing the pro-disclosure side.
The consensus among my colleagues – and one I think I agree with – is that, like her colleague Katrina Pierson, Conway has a rhetorical style that makes perfect sense if you’re thinking in a 10 or 20 second time horizon.
So, “I just got asked about Trump’s medical records. Okay, fine, right to privacy! Oh wait, I’m here to talk about Clinton needing to go to an ER and not her daughter’s apartment so we could have an official record of her blood pressure after she fainted. D’oh!”
I think that’s it. But I can’t forget Trump’s Razor. The real explanation is likely stupider than we dare realize. Is Trump really going to release any medical records?