Palin releasing medical records -- or not

Sarah Palin told NBC's Brian Williams she would make the records public, but the McCain campaign is now walking that promise back.

Published October 23, 2008 8:50PM (EDT)

Sarah Palin may have told NBC's Brian Williams that she was ready to release her medical records, but that doesn't mean they'll actually be public before Election Day.

Wednesday, during an interview she did jointly with John McCain, Williams asked Palin, "Did I hear you just agree to release your medical records?"

Palin responded: "The medical records, so be it. If that will allow some curiosity seekers perhaps to have one more thing that they either check the box off that they can find something to criticize or to rest them assured over. I'm healthy, happy, I've had five kids, that's going to be in the medical records. Never seriously ill or hurt, you'll see that in the medical records if they're released."

However, that last phrase, "if they're released," may have been the most significant part of Palin's statement. That conditional "if" allowed Palin and the McCain campaign some wiggle room as to whether she'd committed to releasing the records. And it seems as if they may now use it, and that she may remain the only one of the major-party candidates this year not to release the information.

Thursday, ABC News' Political Radar blog quoted Maria Comella, a Palin spokeswoman, as saying, “When medical information related to Governor Palin’s health is ready to be released we will make that information available.” She made no mention of when that time might be.

The crossed signals on this are just the latest example of the McCain camp's failures in projecting a united front, especially when it comes to keeping Palin on message. For instance, after McCain repeatedly vowed not to bring up Barack Obama's relationship with Pastor Jeremiah Wright, Palin told New York Times columnist Bill Kristol that she didn't know "why that association isn't discussed more, because those were appalling things that that pastor had said." She also questioned the campaign's decision to pull out of Michigan, and inadvertently adopted Barack Obama's position on Pakistan.

By Vincent Rossmeier

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

MORE FROM Vincent Rossmeier

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2008 Elections John Mccain R-ariz. Sarah Palin