What's Hillary Hiding about Her Health?
Hillary Clinton is either the gift that keeps on giving or else like houseguests who overstayed their welcome, depending on your perspective. For Republicans, her continued presence in the public eye, whining and complaining about the election, providing a new excuse each week, is an electoral gift, as she is one of the faces of the modern Democratic Party.
Along with Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi, these three are the witches of Macbeth, circled around a CNN microphone chanting, "Double, double, toil and trouble, Trump's a pig, stole the election, and should be impeached." Sorry for the non-rhyme; maybe Jesse Jackson can help with that part of the incantation.
If Democrats hope to beat Trump in 2020, or take either house of Congress in November, they need fresh ideas besides Russia and Stormy and a new face of the party rather than a two-time loser who is quite unlikeable. And there is still the nagging issue about her health.
The media are willing and eager to look in every nook and cranny for evidence of Trump-Russian collusion, and to date, they have come up with nothing. But which journalists have investigated Mrs. Clinton's health? The presidency is a demanding job with a similarly vigorous campaign required to earn the votes to become president. Mrs. Clinton failed in the campaign. How would she have done as president?
Let's go back to 2012, when she suffered a traumatic brain injury. I wrote about this four years ago, describing her "terrible concussion," as her husband described it; prism glasses used to correct double vision; and blood-thinners to prevent clots.
The media were incurious at the time, and anyone who raised the issue was labeled a sexist loon for even thinking something was wrong with Mrs. Clinton.
Fast-forward to 2016, when she was actually running for president. Remember the 9-11 tribute in New York City that she attended? Both she and candidate Donald Trump were in Manhattan on a pleasant 80-degree day along with thousands of others. Mrs. Clinton collapsed getting into her van, needing to be dragged into it, like a side of beef, by her bulky handlers. Here is a good review of that memorable moment.
Don't forget her coughing fits, lasting several minutes, during campaign speeches and her episodes of head-jerking seizure-like movements when taking questions from reporters. During the campaign, there were reports of Hillary's "low energy and lack of stamina" such that she took days off from campaigning, while the similar-aged Donald Trump was holding rallies in multiple states on a single day.
She personified the old adage, "Winners never quit and quitters never win." Did she quit simply because she believed the bogus polls declaring her coronation a fait accompli? Or was she too ill for the rigors of a presidential campaign?
Post-election, rather than being a graceful loser and devoting her efforts to causes greater than herself, she is desperately trying to remain relevant. She is certainly relevant to the GOP, providing reinforcement that America chose wisely in November 2016. Her health issues continue.
Earlier this year, she stumbled down a short flight of stairs in India, needing to be hauled along just as she was at the 9-11 event. There are persistent rumors of her affinity to alcoholic beverages, including leaked emails from her communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, telling John Podesta to "sober her up some." Her drinking rumors persist to this day, bolstered by her statement at a commencement address last year describing getting over her electoral loss: "I won't lie – chardonnay helped."
Now there is the issue of her back brace. Photos show an unusual protrusion under her clothes, highly suggestive of a back brace. She is also wearing heavy and warm clothing and a scarf around her neck, bundled up for winter despite being in summer-like heat. Some postulate that she is wearing a Kevlar vest, which she didn't seem to need as a presidential candidate but supposedly does need as a private citizen. I suspect that the only serious threats to Hillary are from the Democrat establishment who wish she would go away.
There was also the wrist cast and ankle boot, both worn recently – all pointing to a woman who is literally falling apart. She is 70 years old, and health issues are common in that age group. She is also in good company. Elizabeth Warren is 68, Nancy Pelosi is 78, Bernie Sanders is 76, and Donald Trump is 71. Yet these four are still operating at a high level, with no obvious health issues, except for Nancy Pelosi and concerns over her mental status.
Imagine if Hillary Clinton had been elected. How could she handle the rigors of the presidency? President Trump is everywhere – rallies, commencement speeches, hoping on and off Marine One and Air Force One, impromptu press briefings, and all the other activity behind the scenes. Would Huma, Podesta, and Mills be running the country while Hillary drank chardonnay and napped? Would her randy husband be dragged away from chasing women to run the White House? Would Obama and Jarrett be re-enlisted to preside over the Deep State when Hillary couldn't drag herself out of bed?
Could Hillary have given an inspiring commencement speech at the U.S. Naval Academy, then shaking over a thousand hands, standing in the hot sun, during the graduation ceremonies? Could she even serve out her presidential term?
We have been down this road before. In 1992, Senator Paul Tsongas from Massachusetts ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for president. He claimed to be cancer-free from his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma when in reality he was not. His doctors at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston were in on the charade, implying he had been cured, which was not true. If elected, he would not have been able to complete his presidential term, as he died just short of what would have been his first term, after years of treatment and infirmity.
Tsongas did eventually acknowledge his error in not fully disclosing his cancer recurrence. This is a good precedent for such an important job. Should it not apply to Mrs. Clinton as well?
America dodged a bullet in November 2016. It's a shame the media continue to enable Mrs. Clinton's self-serving excuse-laden pity tour, rather than encouraging her to retire gracefully – advice they would certainly give to their elderly parents or grandparents in a similar situation. Republicans should be grateful, however, that Mrs. Clinton remains the Democrat face and torch-bearer as they head into another election season.
Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.