Barack Obama's campaign released a letter from his longtime physician deeming him in "excellent health" and saying the on-again, off-again smoker has managed to give up cigarettes since launching his candidacy but was still using Nicorette gum to manage his cravings.
The letter from doctor David Scheiner, who has seen Obama for 21 years, follows Republican John McCain's release of his doctor's report declaring no recurrence of McCain's skin cancer from 2002. Scheiner said Obama's "family history is pertinent for his mother’s death from ovarian cancer and grandfather who died of prostate cancer," but that Obama "is in overall good physical and mental health needed to maintain the resiliency required in the Office of President."
While reporters enjoyed reading about the 71-year-old McCain's freckles on his backside, the best Obama's doctor shared was that the 46-year-old Obama sometimes gets upper respiratory infections and skin rashes.
As of his last full checkup in January 2007, Obama was running regularly, eating a balanced diet and had low or normal cholesterol and PSA levels, blood pressure of 90/60 and an athletic pulse of 60/minute.