Now that the facts surrounding Hillary Clinton’s health have changed, the message from her supporters has shifted from “She’s not sick! That’s a conspiracy theory!” to “Of course she’s sick! Campaigning is very stressful!”
Now, the “It’s just because campaigning is stressful!” point of view is pretty interesting to me. After all, it’s not like being the president would be less stressful, and President Hillary Clinton would likely respond to tough situations the exact same way she’s been responding to them as a candidate.
Does this mean that a stressed-out President Hillary Clinton would be constantly getting pneumonia? That’s not really the point. The point is, the way that she and her team handled her having gotten pneumonia — by hiding it, by pretending there was nothing wrong, and by attacking anyone who suggested otherwise — is the way that they could be expected to handle similar situations in the future.
As David Axelrod put it:
Antibiotics can take care of pneumonia. What’s the cure for an unhealthy penchant for privacy that repeatedly creates unnecessary problems?
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) September 12, 2016
No doubt, the phrase “unhealthy penchant for privacy” describes Hillary Clinton’s campaign perfectly, and I don’t mean just in the case of cough-gate. Have some e-mails you don’t want people to see? Delete them. Don’t feel like talking to the press? Go nine months without a conference. The FBI asks you a question that you don’t want to answer? Just say “I don’t know,” as she and her supporters did more than 300 times during the investigation into her server.
So many people want to say that the reason Hillary Clinton’s words are given special scrutiny is sexism. It isn’t — it’s because Hillary Clinton’s words always seem to fail to tell the full story, even when it’s something small. It’s not that pneumonia is in and of itself a big deal; rather, it’s that it is not a big deal, and yet her campaign still felt the need to hide it. It made that “overheated” excuse because that is how this campaign has been run: When in doubt, hide it. It doesn’t matter that previous candidates, including Senator John McCain, have faced scrutiny over their health — Hillary has decided that she gets to keep hers private, and that her campaign gets to deflect and deny when questioned. And although Hillary Clinton’s pneumonia may get better before Election Day, her lack of accountability and transparency won’t.
#related#In fact, they’ll likely get worse. After all, currently, Hillary Clinton does have one motivation for trying to at least appear transparent: She wants to win. If things are already this bad, how bad might they get if that motivation were taken away? Because I’ve got to say, given all that we’ve seen already, the way that Hillary Clinton would handle the added power that comes with the presidency is a lot more terrifying than the way she might handle hot weather.
– Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review.