“It will be a surprise to Donald Trump what Dr. Oz is going to say,” says Brian Kilmeade in the clip. I sort of doubt that, Brian.
In fact, Oz told Kilmeade that no uncomfortable questions will be asked.
“It’s his personal records. I want to ask him pointed questions about his health,” Oz said.
Kilmeade then asked what would happen if there are “embarrassing things” in the records. Oz responded, “Well, I bet you he won’t release them. … It’s his decision.”
“The metaphor for me is it’s the doctor’s office, the studio. So I’m not going to ask him questions he doesn’t want to have answered, and I also don’t want to talk about anybody else. We’re not going to be talking about Secretary Clinton, for sure,” Oz said. “And I don’t want to talk about things that are outside of the health purview. But I do not believe we can have a wealthy country without being a healthy country. And so I do think people want to understand, what happens to my health care if Mr. Trump is elected, and more importantly, what kind of role model is he for health in our country.”
Does anyone really believe a presidential candidate’s going to hand the results of his physical, sight unseen, to a celebrity doctor he barely knows to have them aired in front of an audience? Maybe a campaign run by Corey Lewandowski would let Trump go out there and roll the dice on being told for the first time, “Well, looks like your aorta is 90 percent obstructed.” (Or, worse, “Your urinalysis detected traces of Viagra.”) A campaign run by Kellyanne Conway won’t. It’s not even clear from the video below, in fact, which doctor performed the physical. It wasn’t Oz; it might not even have been Trump’s regular doctor, the inimitable Dr. Bornstein. All Oz is going to do, it sounds like, is read through whatever data Team Trump hands him and then riff on what the numbers say. “This value is good,” “this is okay but could be better,” and so forth. That’s what Kilmeade means by a “surprise,” I think — it may be that Oz won’t share the advice he plans on giving Trump with the campaign before the show, but obviously Trump will know the results and whether they’re safe for public consumption. He’s not going to blow a storyline about Hillary Clinton being too sick to be president with his own scoop about how he’s sick too.
But maybe they’ll play it that way on the show. Team Trump seems to like “spontaneous” scripted exchanges. A little feigned surprise by Trump at his clean bill of health would be good showmanship. “120 over 80? That’s good, no?”
Incidentally, when Kellyanne Conway was asked this afternoon why Trump is insisting on a basic physical instead of releasing all of his medical records, she came back with this:
Conway asked about Trump’s short drs letter: “I don’t know why we need such extensive medical reporting when we all have a right to privacy”
— Eliza Collins (@elizacollins1) September 13, 2016
You can watch that exchange here. A different GOP nominee would have published their records already to turn up the heat on Clinton. The public already distrusts her; keeping her records secret when the Republican is demanding transparency would make that worse for her. (Because of the suspicion around her, she’s planning to release some more records this week.) Instead, because Trump evidently wants to conceal his own records, you’ve got Conway mumbling about a sphere of privacy for candidates at a moment when the GOP should be pounding the table about full disclosure. In fact, Hillary mentioned the mystery of Trump’s tax returns last night when she phoned in to CNN to discuss her health. “We know the least about Donald Trump of any candidate in recent American history,” she said. “I think it’s time he met the same level of disclosure that I have for years.” It would have been nice to have Clinton as the only nominee who can credibly be accused of withholding damaging information from the public.
Still, the supposedly big reveal on Dr. Oz is a nice gimmick in an age that rewards political gimmicks. It’s the logical next step in Obama’s pop-culture-friendly means of campaigning, like going on Funny or Die to sell ObamaCare. Why not go on Dr. Oz as a candidate to promote your good health to voters who don’t watch cable news and otherwise wouldn’t know? He’s the reality-show candidate. QED.