Here we go with Hillary’s ‘health issue’


In the last couple of days, we’ve seen two things happen that illustrate just how fragile Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump is — a fact that leaves our nation suspended by a hair over disaster.

First, there was her “basket of deplorables” remark. Remember Mitt Romney’s “47 percent?” This could be worse, for the simple fact that it’s more quotable, more vivid. The “47 percent” needed at least a brief footnote of explanation. “Basket of deplorables” travels on its own.

And today, we have this:

Hillary Clinton left a New York memorial service marking the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks early after feeling “overheated,” according to a campaign spokesman.

“Secretary Clinton attended the September 11th Commemoration Ceremony for just an hour and thirty minutes this morning to pay her respects and greet some of the families of the fallen,” spokesman Nick Merrill said. “During the ceremony, she felt overheated, so departed to go to her daughter’s apartment and is feeling much better.”

Clinton arrived at the memorial at 8:18 am and greeted Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and his wife as she exited her van, according to the pool.

Reporters traveling with Clinton became aware about 9:36 a.m that she was no longer in the place where she had been standing. By 9:48 a.m., her campaign confirmed that Clinton left the viewing area as early as 9:30 a.m.

Clinton’s daughter lives on East 26th Street, in the Gramercy neighborhood of lower Manhattan — about a 15-minute drive from Ground Zero….

The headline of that snippet, which will become a full-fleshed news story over the next hour or so, begins “Clinton falls ill…”

Here we go. Granny’s had a spell, and we will all stop remembering 9/11 and start talking about the fact that she’s a granny — and do we want Granny running the country?

Never mind that the woman has way more stamina than most of us. She wouldn’t be where she is otherwise.

While I may go on about nagging health problems here on the blog from time to time, I’m actually in pretty good shape. My blood pressure and pulse always draw remarks of approval from health care professionals. I have zero signs of heart disease, my cholesterol is OK, all major organ functions are nominal, in the astronaut sense of the word.

But I’m not perfect. For the past week, I’ve been getting these sinus headaches that I think are related to a minor cold that my grandson brought home to my wife from 4K. They start in the late morning, and by the end of the day, all I want to do is lie down and make it go away. On Friday, while everyone else at ADCO was at lunch, I lay down on the carpet of my office with my head resting on a rolled-up sweater for about 10 minutes, and got up feeling renewed for the rest of the day.

If I were a presidential candidate, and someone had seen me do that, the headlines would be “Warthen collapses on campaign trail” or some such. Everyone would be going on about my “spell” and what it said about my fitness for office.

And maybe I wouldn’t have the stamina for such a job. Most of us wouldn’t. Look at how it’s aged Obama.

But Hillary Clinton? The woman’s been running full-tilt for president for a quarter-century now. After this, the presidency itself should be breeze. She can take naps, like Reagan.

I’m not terribly concerned about Hillary Clinton’s health one way or the other. What I am concerned about is that she’s running against the least-qualified, most appalling man ever to win a major party’s nomination, and it’s so close that something like this could lose it for her.

That’s what worries me.

A couple of days back, I meant to write something about this story, which was written, I should note, before both the “basket of deplorables” remark and the “overheating” spell: “Democrats wonder and worry: Why isn’t Clinton far ahead of Trump?

As well they might. For my part, I don’t wonder. I can see the things Democrats are blind to.

But I do worry. A lot.

56 thoughts on “Here we go with Hillary’s ‘health issue’

  1. Juan Caruso

    Disagree with you Brad, Clinton’s “Deplorables” remark makes a momentary sound bite that either (as suggested by the usual pro-Hillary supporters’ comments on this blog over many months) appeals to her base or is merely considered what is really is ….silly, political babble.

    On the other hand, her latest fainting episode is a symptom of a serious health issue. Let me REMIND everyone now of what I stated on this bolg over a year ago:

    “Juan Caruso
    August 17, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    A month or so ago in one of my comments on, I had predicted Hillary would:
    1- Drop her run for presidency for “health” reasons, and;
    2- Characteristically criticize one of her campaign advisors.

    At this point I am relishing the odds that both come to pass!”

  2. Ralph Hightower

    I’m more concerned that we will get a temperamental, thin-skinned president who opens his mouth without thinking about the consequences or repercussions.

    Sure Hillary has baggage (too many to mention) and Donald has baggage as well (donating $25,000 from the Trump Foundation to FL Attorney General Pam Bondi to stop an investigation into Trump University, stiffing contractors on his buildings, numerous bankruptcies with Trump Casino closing this month).

    If Hillary is impeached, then the Republican Speaker of the House that has two first names, Ryan Paul or Paul Ryan, will become Vice President.

  3. Doug Ross

    And does it really matter that she has been running for this for 25 years? She looks old and frail today. A 69 year old woman who doesn’t appear to exercise is at risk for all sorts of illnesses. Broken hips are common.

  4. Lynn Teague

    Okay, so now we know that she kept up with her campaign schedule and sat through an hour and a half memorial event with pneumonia. Whatever else you think of her, this doesn’t really come across as frail.

    1. Doug Ross

      Oh, so it wasn’t allergies? She should fire her doctor. She hasn’t been doing anything more strenuous than riding around in private jets, limousines, and then making infrequent speeches. Are we to assume that she is going to get healthier over the next four years? She’ll be a figurehead with her staff running the country.

      It’s crazy how fanatics will regurgitate whatever the latest talking point is… She was lying about her health until they couldn’t cover it up any more.

      And what exactly does being a woman have to do with working while sick? That’s pretty much standard operating procedure for every male breadwinner. I’ve run meetings while suffering from kidney stones and nobody knew it.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Interestingly, as I type this I’m watching “Churchill’s Secret,” about him and his government hiding his stroke from the British people in 1953.

        I assume that worked out, although I won’t know for sure until the show’s over…

        1. Doug Ross

          If the video of her falling into the car didn’t exist, we would never have heard the pneumonia excuse. If she has pneumonia, she should be in a hospital. Is she contagious?

          1. Lynn Teague

            No, people are not routinely hospitalized with pneumonia. My husband was surprised to be told he had it last year, hospitalization was never considered. A few days of antobiotics fixed him up.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              I was hospitalized with it when I was 6. I remember two things about it. One, I had an IV and they taped my arm out straight on a board — as in, a piece of 1X2 lumber. Two, I worked on a Lone Ranger coloring book that my parents brought me to pass the time…

              I came out OK. Of course, I wasn’t running for president at the time…

          2. Doug Ross

            It was lucky she was near Chelsea’s apartment, eh? The optics of going to an ER would have been ever worse.

          3. Pat

            I had pneumonia a few years ago. I was running a 102 temp and felt like I was hit by a truck. I went to the doctor and put on a round of antibiotics but he didn’t hear anything to think I had pneumonia. Getting worse, I went back and got a chest X-ray that showed the pneumonia. Antibiotics were changed and within 24 hours, I began to feel better. Doc predicted a cough for a month and that turned out to be the case. I was at home for a week. At the beginning of it, I had something special going on at work that week and went in at 3 on a Monday morning to do all the preparations and arrange for my substitutes, left at 8 and went straight to the doctor. People aren’t put in the hospital for pneumonia unless there are other areas of concern that complicate the diagnosis.

            1. Claus

              Hillary must get miracle antibiotics, because it only took her 90 minutes before she was back out walking. Modern medicine is wonderful, you can get diagnosed with pneumonia and be back up on your feet within a couple hours. At this rate they’re going to put hospitals out of business.

              I suspect there’s more to this than what’s being told. A friend’s father used to have small strokes which had similar symptoms. He’d seize for a few seconds and then after a short rest be fine. Similar to what happened to Clinton on Sunday morning. Is she still on the blood thinner?

                1. Claus

                  So it’s possible she threw a small clot (mild stroke). Which would explain why there was no need to rush her to the hospital. I know a man who has had this health issue for years. But some are worse than others and will likely be what kills him if he doesn’t get hit by a bus crossing the street.

    2. Bryan Caskey

      Pretty amazing that in less than one day the Hillary campaign supporters can go from:

      “Hillary is not lying about her health”


      Hillary has been lying about her health, and she’s a hero for gutting it out“.

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        Please cite an actual lie. Her doctor’s report says that on Friday she saw the doctor for a cough from allergies. Upon examination, it was determined that there was also pneumonia. She attended the 9/11 event, and left because she was overheated and exhausted [from the pneumonia]. The only fact known to the Clinton people that was not fully disclosed was that she had pneumonia, and that was only known for two days before it was disclosed. The only omission in an actual statement is in the statement made immediately after her collapse, which was expanded upon within two hours.

          1. Claus

            And why after collapsing was she taken to her daughter’s apartment and not the nearest ER? Is that standard practice when people are in coherent, obviously unsteady and pass out? Is Chelsea now a doctor?

          2. Kathryn Fenner

            It’s just that people throw around the claim that she “lies” a lot. She is cagey, for sure, and fails to disclose fully, and so on, but nobody calls Trump on his effluvia of word salad–at least not until very lately. Intentional misrepresentation of facts–not a lot of that in evidence from Hillary, and that is backed up by the impartial fact-checking sites–as opposed to Trump.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              “but nobody calls Trump on his effluvia of word salad”

              Well, yes they do. Plenty of media do. And The Washington Post has its daily fact checker feature, which has awarded Trump more “Four Pinocchios” than anyone else ever.

              The trouble is, it doesn’t matter.

              As you see from Claus’ comment, the really professional, reliable news sources are dismissed by his supporters as “liberal media” and are utterly ignored.

              There’s really no way to reach a lot of Trump supporters with the facts, because if the facts are inconvenient to them, they tune them out…

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.

                That was more than 20 years ago.

                Today, folks on the left and the right, and probably a lot of us in the middle, think we ARE entitled to our own preferred facts, and there are plenty of outlets out there ready to supply them…

  5. Mark Stewart

    Hillary, more than anything else, needs to shake up her senior campaign staff. She has insulated herself behind a bunch of yes(wo)men. She needs to be challenged, not coddled.

    The next two months are the most stressful anyone is likely to experience – in our modern society. They are also the toughest. She knows exactly what is required here; but it is unclear if she has the passion to thrive off it. Surviving isn’t winning.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I’ll be glad to help her. I’d be happy to join her staff as the official “give it to you straight” guy.

      Then, after I help her win, I’d be willing to accept a senior position in the White House. Just one condition: Whatever my job description is, I want everybody to call me “Leo”

    1. Lynn Teague

      Pneumonia is contagious, although not generally as contagious as the flu. When George had it, I was told that I was unlikely to catch it from him. It seems to depend on what kind of pneumonia someone has. Pneumococcal pneumonia, for example, is said to be weakly contagious. And, in fact, I did not catch George’s pneumonia although he went around coughing for several weeks before I could convince him tha he needed a doctor.

  6. Bryan Caskey

    Excuse me if I don’t totally believe the pneumonia story. I mean, Hillary has a reputation for being so honest and trustworthy all the time, it’s inconceivable that this isn’t 100% the truth, right? I mean, why would she deceive us, right?

    I mean, you’re asking me to believe that Hillary was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday, and her response was to go out about her business as regular for the days following such a diagnosis, shake lots of hands, expose lots of people, then collapse from the symptoms on Sunday. In response to that, she goes to play with her grand-kids immediately following the nadir of her condition, and then go hug a little girl hours later, but then say “I’m feeling great”, and then cancel her plans for two days.

    Sorry if I find some inconsistencies in the story, y’all.

    Also, I’m not a doctor, but pneumonia is contagious, no?

    Again, the story line thus far is:

    1. “She’s fine, you crazy wingers!”
    2. “It’s just a cough.”
    3. “Allergies”
    4. “Overheated”
    5. “Dehydrated”
    6. “Pneumonia”

    Riiiight. Riiiiiight.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Actually, I’m quite certain the Sovs have a new kind of boomer and it’s headed for our coast. The captain wants to defect.

          But I’m way intuitive…

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I suspect what we have here is a case of walking pneumonia.

      It may also — and this may answer the questions that Bryan has — be complicated by the Boogie-Woogie Flu.

      Sorry to get all technical and medical on you, there. I’ll refer you to Dr. Lewis to put it into layman’s language…

  7. Rose

    I have made the progression from allergy-triggered congestion to a nagging cough to pneumonia. It took weeks to get to that point and finally go in to see a doctor. I’ve also been guilty of not staying hydrated while taking antihistamines. If I had standing in the heat and humidity in a suit, with congestion meds in my system, I’d have fallen over like a tree.
    A friend who is supremely fit (she’s 60 but has the toned muscles of a 30 year old) just got over walking pneumonia after having a nagging cough that she thought was allergy related for a couple of months.
    With all of the stress and demands on presidential candidates and presidents, I’m surprised they stay as healthy as they do. Shaking all those germ-riddled hands? Yuck!

    Brad, it sounds like you had the same thing that was going around my office a few weeks ago. Those headaches were awful.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Allergy-to-pneumonia? Yep, that’s the way I got it when I was a kid. The runny nose gets into your chest and leads to infection. Usually it was only asthmatic bronchitis, but once or twice it did get to the pneumonia level…

  8. Harry Harris

    When candidates get in front of supporters, especially when they are trying to raise money, they say some pretty ill-advised and hyperbolic things. The “deplorables” comment falls into that basket. She should know better – everything she says will be scrutinized by many and distorted by some. She really isn’t a very good campaigner, and is pretty good at blowing leads even against a lightly-regarded opponent. My biggest gripe with her other than her comfort with super-rich folks is her willingness to use negativity rather than spending time and resources selling her own agenda. She should buck the media bent toward the irrelevant and sensational in the same way Sanders did. Correct their boorish self-promotion and cut right to the real issues. Where we are to go and how might we get there? Many Republicans have already concluded that Trump is a knowledge-deficient bum. She needs to show them how their and the country’s interests will be advanced by her election.

    1. Harry Harris

      It still was an uncalled-for comment. Voters can be whipped-up into upsetness by the Fox/Koch/Armey/RNC round-the-clock disinformation machine. They sit up at night looking for new stuff to throw against the wall. I’m a supporter, and I wish she’d spend her words undergirding her agenda, not wasting them in a negativity fight with the pros at mudslinging.

    2. Claus

      So if Trump were to say half of Clinton supporters were welfare sucking leeches, would that be okay since the only people who were offended were welfare sucking leeches who wouldn’t vote for him anyway?

      1. Harry Harris

        It would certainly be OK to say so if he thinks it true – but it would be incorrect and unwise. Clinton didn’t need to express her contempt for the Donald supporters who exhibit hateful behavior and then contrast that with statements about the “redeemable” ones who have legitimate concerns about being left behind in a rigged economy. That was unwise and exaggerated. She gaffed. Her campaign staff and she can’t figure out that the main reason Sanders was so successful even against a stacked deck was his promotion of his own agenda, not his negativity toward the other side. He was highly critical of the exploitative economy , but never voiced quotable disrespect.

  9. Brad Warthen Post author

    I wrote this post within an hour after the first bulletin about her leaving the ceremony.

    I didn’t have the info about pneumonia at that time. All we had was “overheated,” and that she’d gone to Chelsea’s apartment.

    Here’s the dilemma I face with a post like this: Do I go back and update it? If this were a news site, of course I should. But this blog is about the conversation, and I already had some comments based on the original post, so it might be weird to rewrite the post.

    I THINK maybe the most natural thing is to let the conversation develop organically as we learn more. Which is sort of what I did — except maybe, once the pneumonia info was available, maybe I should have given a link to an updated story in a comment.

    Yeah, that’s what I should have done. But it was Sunday afternoon, and I was busy helping my son pull down a large fallen limb that was precariously perched in a tree over his backyard. (It was quite a production. The limb was about 20 feet up. I’d brought ladders and one of those special tree-trimming things on a pole, but the only thing that worked was the backup plan — we tied a weight to a rope and threw it up repeatedly until it looped over the limb just right, and pulled.)

    In any case, my commentary would have been much the same even if I’d known what we know now. My point would still be that it’s terrible that the race, which should be a foregone conclusion, is so close that an incident like this could derail her campaign — which it still may well do.

    Two things would have been different. I probably wouldn’t have put “health issue” in quotes. And I would have expressed a little more sympathy for her health, since she’s actually sick and all…

    1. Bryan Caskey

      I see blogs do updates to stories quite regularly. With Hillary it’s sort of necessary. Heaven forbid she just be forthcoming and transparent.

      Glad y’all could get the limb down safely.

  10. Bart

    The “deplorable” comment is reminiscent of the 47% comment by Romney and if reactions hold true, it will galvanize Trump supporters and may swing undecideds his way. The latest polling numbers have Trump even and ahead in some of the important swing states. Adding to the comment her “health issues” that were more or less confirmed by many, this may be enough to put Trump ahead with a significant lead.

    If Hillary cannot answer the bell and be on top of her game over the next two months, it will have a definite impact on the outcome of the race. Even Cokie Roberts is reporting some Democrats are already asking if Hillary should be replaced. It may gain traction but I doubt it especially when Republicans couldn’t muster enough courage to dump Trump. If the worst candidate I can recall since I have been voting won and held on to the Republican nomination, no way Clinton will be dumped.

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