John F. Kennedy, the standard-bearer of youthful Camelot and the picture of presidential health, suffered from a litany of ailments including osteoporosis, back pain, and Addison’s disease, Robert Dallek writes in the New York Times. But the president’s loyalists buried the secrets for 40 years, prompting Dallek to urge Barack Obama and John McCain to fully disclose their medical histories.
“Politicians' political problems are their own. Their health problems belong to all of us. If candidates don't like that, they need not run for president. If you want to be the most powerful person in the world, you will also have to be one of the least private. Voters deserve to know the full picture—no ifs, ands or buts.”