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Hullabaloo


Monday, September 12, 2016

 

You can't cure stupid

by Tom Sullivan


The Reagans wave from a hospital window after President Reagan's
cancer surgery in 1985. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Hillary Clinton is on antibiotics for a case of pneumonia. Kevin Drum laments:

Even during a presidential campaign it's a fairly ordinary kind of story. But the talking heads need more than that to talk about. We need some kind of morality play. We need the "real questions this raises." We need analysis. We need daily updates, accompanied by slo-mo analysis of Clinton's latest walk to her car. So we'll get them. Sigh.
David Atkins calls it right at Washington Monthly: Hillary Clinton should have gotten ahead of the story by admitting she has a touch of pneumonia.
Conservative media had been noticing that Clinton appeared under the weather recently, most notably due to mild coughing. Whether it’s a simple scratchy throat, or allergies, or a mild cold, or even pneumonia still isn’t very important, and it’s not an issue on which voters should be judging candidates. Health only becomes an issue if there’s a serious chronic condition that might endanger the president’s life or impact their ability to do their job. So far there has been no evidence that Clinton has such a condition. That hasn’t stopped conservative media organizations from speculating that Clinton might be too ill to be president, however. But then, these are the same people who speculate the Barack Obama was born in Kenya, and the mainstream press shouldn’t be feeding the conspiracy trolls.
Sadly, Clinton's dogged determination to fight through an illness will absolve the media from "raising questions" about whether Donald Trump is too inexperienced, too incompetent, and too much of a pathological liar to be president. How big a news story would getting sick on the campaign trail be if it were a man? Say, Donald Trump with a urinary tract infection? Okay, a Y-U-G-E — tremendous — urinary tract infection. Not as big a story as Trump's brag about the size of it, you can safely bet.

Let's see now, the sainted President Ronald Reagan had a bowel resection in 1985. He had more polyps removed from his colon, skin cancer removed from his nose, and surgery on his prostate. All in 1987.

During his 1992 reelection campaign, President George H.W. Bush famously got ill and threw up on the Japanese prime minister:

His son, President George W. Bush, passed out after choking on a pretzel in 2002:

Then he temporarily ceded presidential power to unindicted war criminal Dick Cheney during his 2007 colonoscopy:

Not that that has any bearing on a woman getting a little ill. Pneumonia is an ordinary kind of story, as Drum suggests. A statewide candidate told me Saturday that it's important to pace yourself and maintain your health between now and the election. With so many hands to shake and "babies to kiss," that's a challenge. It's campaign SOP to plan on being sick the day after Election Day once the adrenaline subsides, just not before. And neither of us have a presidential candidate's schedule. Clinton is lucky to be getting this out of the way now.

Trump's staff must have hidden his cell phone, because there are no @realDonaldTrump tweets (Sunday night) mocking Clinton's illness. For her, antibiotics and a little rest should do the trick. For her opponent? They say you can't cure stupid.

Trump is scheduled to appear in Asheville, NC tonight. Expect taco trucks on every corner near the arena.