Let’s get physical

Nicholas Thimmesch II Media and Communications Consultant
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Okay, let’s start with some self disclosure: smoke, yes; alcohol consumption, you bet; weak knees, occasionally; past illicit drug abuse, you betcha; fear of Michelle Obama, who wouldn’t be?

So President Obama and I have very, very, eerily, similar “physical” exam results: he could be my “separated-at-birth” twin. Except that I refuse to stop smoking (they will pry my Camel Straights from my cold, clammy fingers), imbibing in alcohol (which it sounds like Obama does but his doctor tells him to refrain from), I like having weak knees on occasion (ah, spring at Lafayette Square!), and I have no fear of Michelle (hell, she ain’t my fourth wife!). In conjunction with presidential physicals, some of the past abuse tells all: President Clinton is “The King” of abusing POTUS physicals, and Obama now comes in as a close second. Silver medal for him.

President Clinton’s worst “physical” surely must have been poor Paula Jones testifying as to his crooked anatomy: What could be worse for your chick pursuit than having it known that, besides your politics, the rest of you also swerves to the left. One can readily ask (don’t Google: Scientology links and Obama administration connections make it dangerous to one’s privacy) and tell to learn all about Bubba’s ailments, which he did his best to hide throughout his candidacy and presidency: Clinton is and always was a “physical” mess.

Clinton had, according to legend: “Gastrointestinal symptoms which have been attributed to reflux esophagitis. These symptoms included ‘bouts of heartburn’. Treatment included elimination of certain foods, antacid medication, and sleeping on a wedge” (now that’s not a nice way to describe Hillary). Also, “Clinton underwent colonoscopy in 1984 because of rectal bleeding. It showed ‘no evidence of significant pathology including polyps or tumorous growths.’” Oh my, and here we thought the genitalia information was too much information.

“In 1992, when Bill Clinton was running for president, up came the question of psychiatric history. No, was the reply; he had received counseling for some stressful family matters, but no psychiatric treatment. After revelations of Clinton’s White House escapades, he announced a self-prescribed treatment course: periodic meetings with three clergymen to obtain guidance for his return to marital rectitude. Mrs. Clinton has commented that, beginning after August 1998, ‘We spent a lot of time in counseling, and I found it very helpful.’” Now that must have been more painful than the aforementioned colonoscopy. Or Paula Jones’ testimony.

Basically, Clinton aptly stifled any and all talk or questions about his health throughout his political history (even though as former POTUS, now we know too much). So I suppose we will never nose, or know, whether he had a deviated septum due to cocaine abuse. But we do know all about Sen. Bob Dole’s maladies as well Sen. John McCain’s cancer(s), and that George W. Bush choked on a pretzel.

Still, there was a lot about the “First Black President” that we didn’t know: “Former President Bill Clinton released only summaries of his annual physical examinations, including his cholesterol count, his pulse rate, his blood pressure and his hemoglobin and white blood cell and platelet count. According to the New York Times, then-White House spokesman Michael D. McCurry said he saw “no reason” not to disclose more information, “given the President’s overall health.”

So what is the point of all this navel gazing when it comes to political candidates or elected officials and their medical records or conditions? I thought privacy was the operative word when it comes to medical records and current conditions: what gives? For that matter: why is MSNBC’s resident douche, Keith Olbermann, giving us the blow-by-blow of his dying father instead of demanding Bush and Cheney be imprisoned for war crimes?

President Obama’s “physical” leaves more for us to learn than it tells: is he still smoking and what is he smoking (and where: he lives in a government building that forbids smoking of any kind)?; what on Earth is he “drinking” in terms of alcohol consumption and why would any physician advise he curtail it?; and what physiological and/or psychological damage has been done to one-time marijuana and cocaine abuser Barack Obama that we should nose about?

Inquiring minds and prodding doctors wanna know.

Nicholas Thimmesch II is a long-time media and communications consultant to numerous campaigns, government representatives and public policy organizations, serving in the Reagan White House as a staff writer.