domingo, 11 de septiembre de 2016

Clinton scare shakes up the race

 Hillary Clinton attends the memorial service at the 9/11 memorial in New York. She left shortly after feeling "overheated" and a video emerged of a wobbly Democratic nominee.
Hillary Clinton attends the memorial service at the 9/11 memorial in New York. She left shortly after feeling "overheated" and a video emerged of a wobbly Democratic nominee.

Physical weakness caught on camera turns health conspiracy into a legitimate campaign concern.

Hillary Clinton’s health – long the obsession of conspiracy theorists — emerged Sunday as a legitimate campaign issue after Clinton nearly swooned and stumbled at a Sept. 11 commemoration, underscoring the sense that that summer’s sure-thing candidate is flagging at a pivotal moment.

The scare was captured on cellphone video showing the wobbly Democratic candidate — who was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday, according to a report by her doctor and later forwarded to reporters — being lifted into the vehicle by her aides after leaving a memorial service at the site of the 2001 World Trade Center attack.

The incident comes after two weeks of tightening polls that have seen Trump close to within striking distance nationally and in some battleground states and capped off what was arguably the shakiest 48 hours of her general-election campaign that began when she called Trump supporters “deplorables,” a rare gaffe by a fastidiously stage-managed candidate.

The announcement late Sunday by Clinton’s personal physician, Lisa Bardack, that Clinton had become “overheated and dehydrated” after being placed on antibiotics last week came after a day of frenzied speculation about the candidate’s health and its impact on a tightening race.

“It’s not the end of the world — I think she’s OK — but it ain’t good,” one person close to the Clintons said after the former secretary of state emerged from daughter Chelsea’s Manhattan apartment after becoming “overheated” at Ground Zero. “It adds a new, unwelcome element.”

Longtime Clinton adviser James Carville said, ‘The doctors have all said she’s healthy,” but added: “It’s going to be something that people aren’t going to be able to stop talking about, so we’ll see” what happens next.

Press rips Clinton campaign's handling of health incident

Even as reporters waited for more details about the health scare, supporters — for the first time — were quietly pressuring a candidate who has been reluctant to share details about her health and personal life to become more transparent to avoid a drip-drip of doubt that could help an even less forthcoming Trump.

The announcement that the candidate is suffering from a lung ailment — which came after her staff stonewalled reporters and pronounced her fully recovered — isn’t likely to instantly quell questions about her long-term fitness.

"The Clintons have this notion that they only go as far as they need to" in terms of disclosure, said an ally close to the current Democratic nominee. "They can't afford to approach this that way."

In a wild-card campaign shaped by branding, spin and bombast, Clinton’s health scare is a rare event rooted in flesh-and-blood truth — she’s either healthy or she’s not — and on Sunday that question took on an unanticipated urgency.

Clinton’s campaign strategy is driven by an intent to demonstrate Trump’s unfitness to serve based on temperament and intellect. The GOP nominee now has a powerful, visceral counter-argument: that she is physically unfit to serve, reinforced by real video that raises new concerns about her health.

Presidential politics is, by design, a brutal vetting process, and the physical capacity of anyone seeking the office is the ultimate gateway question. But in Trump’s hands it has become positively gladiatorial, thanks to his chest-beating emphasis on his own physical prowess, size, and stamina.

Partisans have long raised health issues in campaigns — Ronald Reagan’s opponents repeatedly questioned his mental acuity, and Bill Clinton’s supporters were delighted by a January 1992 video of George H.W. Bush vomiting during a dinner with the prime minister of Japan. Dwight Eisenhower's 1955 heart attack and subsequent health issues were a factor in his 1956 reelection race.

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