People have made too big a deal about Hillary Clinton’s health. If so, it’s because the candidate has done that by her own handling of the weekend health scare. On Sunday, Clinton did a half-gainer into her SUV after swooning at the 9/11 Remembrance. It was captured on video, and it looked like she was unable to stand up. True to form, her campaign was spinning the story about her health before the car doors closed. “It’s the flu.” “No, it’s dehydration.” “She’s fine.” “Her doctor told her to stay home.” The health reports wiggled and waggled while the candidate was driven to her daughter’s apartment nearby. After a brief recuperation, she came out for an unassisted walk, as if to say, “false alarm.”
Hillary has been open about her health history, disclosing medical information earlier in the campaign. Yet her management has been criticized for failing to disclose immediately after the incident that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia. At first her staff reported dehydration as the cause. Maybe it was, but maybe she was more vulnerable due to pneumonia. The view here is that it would have been better to announce the bug last Friday and then emerge briefly on Sunday.
Voters have a real concern about a President’s health, unlike much of the junk a candidate gets lambasted for. When the issue affects Hillary, she takes a second beating for “lack of candor.” She concealed that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia last Friday. Of course, not every tick is newsworthy. If so, she might have found a less perilous way to observe Sunday’s long and solemn event. The follow-up stroll was absurd once the diagnosis was revealed.
Long in the Teeth
Clinton and Trump are the two oldest people to run for President. The winner will probably not run for reelection in 2020. They are at an age when medical issues happen. It’s a legitimate concern for voters. The readiness of running mates takes on a greater importance because of the ages of the candidates. Sixty is not the new forty. Maybe it’s the new fifty-two. Both of these folks are geezers. Trump handed out a one-page ghostwritten statement signed by his one-time gastroenterologist. Clinton disclosed her medical history but was coy about her current, albeit temporary, condition.
“No Big Deal” is The Big Deal
To explain her reason for not disclosing the pneumonia, Clinton said that it was “no big deal.” But it turned into a big deal precisely because it had been concealed. She could have announced having a bug, made a brief appearance and departed while she was still upright. It could have been handled better, which is the criticism even her friends and allies level at her. David Axelrod, a master campaign strategist, tweeted, “Antibiotics can take care of pneumonia. What’s the cure for an unhealthy penchant for privacy that repeatedly creates unnecessary problems?”