This week, Donald Trump's camp said he would be going on The Dr. Oz Show to share his medical records. Then, his campaign said he wouldn't be revealing them — and now reports indicate that he has. In other words, Trump's team sent loyal news cycle riders on a roller-coaster of mixed messages. Oddly enough, just like a bumpy carnival ride, even though you throw up at the end, you feel better for it afterwards.
Here's the back story: Since August, Trump has been making an issue of his running mate's medical history, suggesting that his imagined diagnoses of Hillary Clinton's health makes her unfit to be president. Then he insisted that she release her medical records — not that Trump had shared his. In December, Trump released a note from Dr. Harold N. Bornstein claiming that, "If elected, Mr. Trump... will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency."
Leading up to The Dr. Oz Show taping, Trump's latest medical report was expected to be revealed on the talk show. But in a loop-de-loop, Trump's camp said he wouldn't be sharing them. Then, based on audience member interviews conducted by the New York Times, reports surfaced that Trump did in fact share the results from his most recent physical.
All told, the latest act of flipping and flopping could prove to be a good thing. What if it finally puts an end to the distracting health obsession Trump's gotten the echo chamber riled up about? This dragged-out teasing should put a nail in the medical record obsession coffin. We're getting our peek at Trump's record, and Clinton is expected to release hers. Maybe we can finally put this manufactured controversy behind us, and return/start holding candidates' feet to the fire about substantive policy issues?
To be realistic, this probably won't be the last time Trump pulls a stunt like this. Based on his history, he'll probably stick to leaning on sensational comments and publicity stunts to get air time and attention.
However, the more he pulls these tricks, the easier it is to see behind the curtain. In some ways it is, in fact, a gift — Trump is using his actions to show that his obsession with Clinton's health is just another one in the long list of distractions and road bumps he's thrown on the trail to avoid having to face substantive policy issues. I'm sick of this obsession with the candidates' health — and, hopefully, by the time The Dr. Oz Show airs, it will be cured.