Bachmann “incapacitated” by migraines?

posted at 10:55 am on July 19, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

The Daily Caller’s Jonathan Strong drops a bombshell on the Michele Bachmann campaign today with a report that migraines incapacitate the presidential hopeful on a regular basis.  The headline also alleges “heavy pill use,” a loaded phrase that insinuates some sort of addiction — an insinuation that the story fails to support.  An unknown number of unnamed sources form the basis of this story:

The Minnesota Republican frequently suffers from stress-induced medical episodes that she has characterized as severe headaches. These episodes, say witnesses, occur once a week on average and can “incapacitate” her for days at time. On at least three occasions, Bachmann has landed in the hospital as a result.

“She has terrible migraine headaches. And they put her out of commission for a day or more at a time. They come out of nowhere, and they’re unpredictable,” says an adviser to Bachmann who was involved in her 2010 congressional campaign. “They level her. They put her down. It’s actually sad. It’s very painful.”

Bachmann’s medical condition wouldn’t merit public attention, but for the fact she is running for president. Some close to Bachmann fear she won’t be equal to the stress of the campaign, much less the presidency itself.

“When she gets ‘em, frankly, she can’t function at all. It’s not like a little thing with a couple Advils. It’s bad,” the adviser says. “The migraines are so bad and so intense, she carries and takes all sorts of pills. Prevention pills. Pills during the migraine. Pills after the migraine, to keep them under control. She has to take these pills wherever she goes.”

What are the examples of Bachmann being “incapacitated” by her migraines?  Strong only offers one — a missed campaign appearance for then-Rep. Roy Blunt in his ultimately successful Senate campaign.  She was treated at a hospital and went home the same day.  The only other incidents cited by Strong’s report came two months earlier, an episode that caused her to miss … er … no appearances, although she did visit an urgent-care center, and another event in October of last year, in which she laid down for a while and went to urgent care for treatment later.

The “heavy use of pills” would be familiar to anyone who deals with migraines, but Strong’s description sounds more like someone who actively manages their medical condition rather than being the second coming of Neely O’Hara from Valley of the Dolls:

Of particular concern to some around her is the significant amount of medication Bachmann takes to address her condition.

The former aide says Bachmann’s congressional staff is “constantly” in contact with her doctors to tweak the types and amounts of medicine she is taking. Marcus Bachmann helps her manage the episodes.

Her husband helps his wife manage her medical issues — and that’s a surprise?  Migraines require the kind of review described in this passage, because the conditions shift and medications don’t always provide consistent relief.  Shouldn’t someone who has migraines be in contact with her physicians to ensure that medication works as it should and that the condition doesn’t incapacitate the sufferer?  And wouldn’t it be more strange if Marcus didn’t take a supporting role in that effort?

Bachmann doesn’t have a reputation for being a political wallflower.  She has tirelessly traveled to Tea Party events, appears constantly on talking-head political news shows, and is perhaps the most prodigious fundraiser in the House.  Bachmann didn’t do all of that by being incapacitated.  I’ve known Bachmann for several years, and I’m only aware of her missing one event (the Blunt appearance) in all of that time. If her migraines were anywhere near as incapacitating as Strong’s piece suggests, we would have known about it a year ago or more.

The sourcing on this story doesn’t instill much confidence, either.  Strong’s cites are:

  • a former aide says.
  • three people who have worked closely with Bachmann
  • an adviser to Bachmann who was involved in her 2010 congressional campaign.
  • The former aide says …
  • the adviser says.

Strong writes that “TheDC agreed to provide the sources anonymity because they were providing information only a select group of people could know, at great professional risk.”  I’m not an idealist that says that anonymous sources should never be used, but in this story, anonymity is extremely curious.  It doesn’t protect whistleblowers calling attention to corruption or wrongdoing; it’s protecting people who didn’t like working for Bachmann.  If the former Bachmann aides fear for the Republic, why aren’t they openly speaking out?  The “great professional risk” appears to be that politicians won’t hire people who are disloyal and stab people in the back, anonymously or not.

Update: Race 4 2012 has more on Bachmann’s voting record, which also shows no evidence of incapacitation.

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I wonder WHY Hotair is pushing every obscure story about Republican candidates OTHER than Romney?

Just yesterday, Romney’s campaign stated that the states had better implement Obomneycare provisions as they were already planning out how Romney would be the new chief overlord of US healthcare!

Freddy on July 19, 2011 at 1:31 PM

I think most people are missing what is going on. If they follow the same pattern as they did with Palin then this story’s main reason for being is to lay a marker for follow on stories. It is not one hitpiece. it is the one hit piece that is then linked and sourced as a credibile source that then sets up slowly the narrative. Not sure what narrative they are buliding with Bachmann yet but make no mistake they are building one.

Personally I’n not a supporter of Bachmann because i don’t think she is qualified and her words are out of sync with her actions. but I can see a narrative being built here even if I don’t see what exactly the final product will be and I don’t like them doing it.

If rollins were smart he would stop this narrative in its track.

unseen on July 19, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Is that because the source is possibly connected to Romney?

MadisonConservative on July 19, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Got any proof of your accusation!?

Unless, you can prove it, its bulls*tt.

Conservative Samizdat on July 19, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Conservative Samizdat on July 19, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Easy there, Mitten. Reasonable theory based on history.

MadisonConservative on July 19, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Would it make a difference if she wasn’t a woman?

Of course not.

With John Kennedy buzzing on painkillers, should he have been president? With Roosevelt need so much treatment for his paralysis, should he have been president?

Don’t know. Wasn’t there. What I have read of Roosevelt, he was mostly functional. Kennedy, not so much. Both of them were complete and total disasters as Presidents, imo.

This whole post is because Bachmann is leaping into the front. It’s typical ad hominen. I have no faith in October suprises.

itsspideyman on July 19, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Fair enough. And there are lots of degrees of functionality involved here. My daughter – functional with migraine. My wife – not so much. My former employee – bedridden and totally out of it for days at a time.

Jaibones on July 19, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Wait a minute… I thought Palin was unelectable because she’d been smeared beyond repair. I thought that’s why we have to look at other GOP candidates because they wouldn’t be subjected to such attacks. Y’know, ‘cause they’re not as divisive or stupid. Wake up folks. No matter who you choose for your candidate, when the attacks dogs decide the time is right, there will be no stopping them. They will go after ANY candidates character without any substantiation. Lies and innuendo ~ their modus operandi.

Michelle Bachmann should be judged on her record and whether she can motivate enough people to put her over the top. Period. Anything beyond that is cowardice and pure stupidity.

greeneyedconservative on July 19, 2011 at 1:40 PM

So from here on out the Leftist meme about Bachman is that she’s a druggy…because she takes prescription medicine for a medical condition. Is this really the best they can come up with (I mean other calling her husband a fag)?

WarEagle01 on July 19, 2011 at 1:40 PM

women are prone to headaches –…

Dr Evil on July 19, 2011 at 11:03 AM

I’ve got a headache-but I love him anyway.
*ducks*

annoyinglittletwerp on July 19, 2011 at 11:06 AM

ROFLMAO!!! That really gave me a good laugh. Thank you!

capejasmine on July 19, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Just yesterday, Romney’s campaign stated that the states had better implement Obomneycare provisions as they were already planning out how Romney would be the new chief overlord of US healthcare!

Freddy on July 19, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Holy crap!!! That should be the catalyst to tanking his campaign. My God, this man is just as bad as Obama, from what I’m reading, and hearing.

capejasmine on July 19, 2011 at 1:43 PM

so the story is at least correct on those issues. which means we can’t ignore it.

unseen on July 19, 2011 at 1:24 PM

What part of the story can you give credit to?

csdeven on July 19, 2011 at 1:47 PM

the story is up on drudge report.

looks like it will be picked up by the MSM now.

unseen on July 19, 2011 at 1:47 PM

I love the headache advertisement that appears under the article.

I love the internet.

rickyricardo on July 19, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Just yesterday, Romney’s campaign stated that the states had better implement Obomneycare provisions as they were already planning out how Romney would be the new chief overlord of US healthcare!

Freddy on July 19, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Link please.

csdeven on July 19, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Spokeswoman Alice Stewart rejected a report Tuesday that severe migraine headaches have limited Bachmann’s ability to campaign in the past. She says the implication that Bachmann’s health would keep her from carrying out the job of president is “just not true.”

The online news site The Daily Caller reported Bachmann’s past migraines have led to hospitalizations and left her “incapacitated.” The story cites former aides granted anonymity.

Stewart refused to discuss Bachmann’s medical history in detail. But she says Bachmann has been campaigning intensely for more than a month in “stressful, hot” conditions without incident. Stewart says Bachmann’s migraines are treated successfully with medication.

Ap picked it up…

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_BACHMANN_2012_HEADACHES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-07-19-12-44-47

unseen on July 19, 2011 at 1:50 PM

http://www.doctorzebra.com/prez/

“Tabulates the illnesses of various Presidents.”

Like Moses, I can only lead you to the promised link. :-) (stupid firewall…) Have fun!

Mary in LA on July 19, 2011 at 1:51 PM

What part of the story can you give credit to?

csdeven on July 19, 2011 at 1:47 PM

per her spokeswoman she suffers from migranes and is on medications. Both the stroy and Bahcmann’s camp confirms that fact.

the parts of the story we can’t give credit to yet is the frequency and strength of them. and if they put her out of commission when they occur.

unseen on July 19, 2011 at 1:53 PM

You know what the libs will say next:
“OMG, she and Rush are both junkies!”

Dumb-a$$e$

mechkiller_k on July 19, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Does she also write “REDRUM” on the mirror during these episodes?

If not, then she’d still be better than the DOTUS.

PappyD61 on July 19, 2011 at 1:58 PM

the story is up on drudge report.

looks like it will be picked up by the MSM now.

unseen on July 19, 2011 at 1:47 PM

If it involves dirt on a Republican, the old media hardly needs approval from Drudge.

slickwillie2001 on July 19, 2011 at 2:00 PM

palinized!
cmsinaz on July 19, 2011 at 11:01 AM

ha. MB has only been through about a month of this.

Palin has had nearly 3 years of this.

PappyD61 on July 19, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Just yesterday, Romney’s campaign stated that the states had better implement Obomneycare provisions as they were already planning out how Romney would be the new chief overlord of US healthcare!

Freddy on July 19, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Link please.

csdeven on July 19, 2011 at 1:50 PM

http://www.beckersasc.com/asc-coding-billing-and-collections/romney-advisor-supports-health-reform-laws-insurance-exchanges.html

Freddy on July 19, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Oh brother, I just put on my heavy duty boots and took a peak over at the LGF echo chamber. Chuckles has been blasting Bachmann for weeks and even he says this is a dumb hit piece.

Knucklehead on July 19, 2011 at 2:13 PM

the parts of the story we can’t give credit to yet is the frequency and strength of them. and if they put her out of commission when they occur.

unseen on July 19, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Right. We have the statement from Bachmann and the remainder or the article does nothing except push a false narrative. Ergo, it should be ignored in it’s entirety. The story uses 10% facts to try and prove a 90% lie.

Would you give credence to an anonymously sourced story about Apollo 11 that claims it never landed on the moon but admits it did launch? No, you would reject it utterly because we have sources that are credible.

csdeven on July 19, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Freddy on July 19, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Thank you. But that was an adviser and not the campaign. Even the person who helped Romney design Romneycare disagreed with Leavitt’s statement.

And the context of the remark was assuming Obamacare would not be repealed. He advocated the states set up individual state systems to prevent the feds from putting them into a federal system. I think he’s an idiot because it assumes that the feds can force Americans to purchase a commodity under threat of implementing a healthcare system if they don’t voluntarily implement their own system.

csdeven on July 19, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Migraines are shorter than a round of golf.

Ronnie on July 19, 2011 at 2:40 PM

blink on July 19, 2011 at 1:37 PM

It’s hyperbole, but I was making the point that women are a tough bunch. Most men can’t handle what women go through an a daily basis.

odat on July 19, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Michelle Bachmann should be judged on her record and whether she can motivate enough people to put her over the top. Period. Anything beyond that is cowardice and pure stupidity.

greeneyedconservative on July 19, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Boy do I disagree.
For someone running for POTUS, the most powerful position in the world, I think we have the right to know what shapes our candidate’s thinking….we were not allowed that with Obama, and we should never let that happen again.

Candidate’s spouses, history, medical condition, religious upbringing all shape them into who they are….knowing those things is not “stupidity”…it should be mandatory.

Let the candidates speak candidly about said things and then let us decide.

tencole on July 19, 2011 at 2:45 PM

I am no supporter of Bachmann. However, I do suffer migraines regularly (fortunately, on a much smaller scale). I am not impressed with the sourcing, nor the conclusions.
Migraine sufferers find ways to work through the problem, especially when it is only periodically experienced (which the evidence seems to suggest).

When she gets rid of Rollins, only then I will rethink my take on her. This story is just a stupid distraction from the real issues plaguing us.

Mutnodjmet on July 19, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Look, I don’t know what’s really going on with B and her headaches, though the campaign admits she does suffer from migraines, they are careful to minimize it and to lump her in with the millions who get occasional ones.

If hers are chronic and require chronic management, if she is a “migraineur”, this is actually a real problem.

I have no way of knowing for certain but she COULD be taking meds you don’t want your president needing on a regular basis. She might well be taking narcotics on a regular basis to keep her headaches at bay- there’s certainly more to the story than an emergency dose of imitrex to head them off if the Caller is to be believed.

Worse, *regular* migraines are not just about the two days spent hiding in a dark room until it passes. THere is a prodrome and a postdrome and both are altered states.

Before it begins there is often a period of excitability and ehen the headache is over there are fatigue, irritability, fuzzy thinking, and sore muscles.

It’s NOT NOTHING. If it’s true, if she is not just the sufferer of the one off migraine now and then, but a true chronic migraineur then it WILL affect her performance.

The one thing, as candidate, that she should NOT be allowed to do is hide the extent of her illness or treatment. How often does she have them? How EXACTLY are they managed? How long has this been going on?

Someone told me she’s had less sick time off due to headache than Cheney to heart issues if you go by the Caller article. Assume that to be true. A: she’s no Cheney. B: He got better.

But speaking of Cheney, she needs an echocardiogram. Her headaches could be related to POF (heart) issues.

SarahW on July 19, 2011 at 2:55 PM

csdeven on July 19, 2011 at 2:16 PM

csdeven….the article just can’t be “ignored”….a lot of it is true.
Yes she does suffer from migraines.
Yes she takes medications for her migraines.

How “debilitating” the migraines are, are pretty subjective.
Some people here think it’s just a “headache”…take an Advil and move on. Others think it puts her flat on her back, needing stronger medication to deal with them.
MB needs to make a statement…clear the air and put this to rest.

tencole on July 19, 2011 at 2:57 PM

csdeven….the article just can’t be “ignored”….a lot of it is true.
Yes she does suffer from migraines.
Yes she takes medications for her migraines.

tencole on July 19, 2011 at 2:57 PM

What else do you get from it that the spokesperson didn’t already confirm? What value is contained in the article other than that?

csdeven on July 19, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Migraines are shorter than a round of golf.

Ronnie on July 19, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Not true. As someone who has had migraines…they can last for a very, very long time.

Conservative Samizdat on July 19, 2011 at 3:04 PM

But speaking of Cheney, she needs an echocardiogram. Her headaches could be related to POF (heart) issues.

SarahW on July 19, 2011 at 2:55 PM

I’ve heard of migraines resulting from too much sunlight or food but why would migraines be related to heart issues?

If I got a echocardiogram, what would the doctor be looking for that might trigger a migraine?

Conservative Samizdat on July 19, 2011 at 3:06 PM

As someone who has had migraines…they can last for a very, very long time.

Conservative Samizdat on July 19, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Link?

portlandon on July 19, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Not true. As someone who has had migraines…they can last for a very, very long time.

Conservative Samizdat on July 19, 2011 at 3:04 PM

So do Obama’s golf games.

Ronnie on July 19, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Are you definitively claiming that nobody suffering from a migraine that they would classify as “severe” is capable of rallying during a crisis?

blink on July 19, 2011 at 1:43 PM

If “severe” the answer is yes except perhaps for a statistically insignificant group of outliers.

Mason on July 19, 2011 at 3:16 PM

The LSM is just starting up

royzer on July 19, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Link?

portlandon on July 19, 2011 at 3:07 PM

No, link required. I’m speaking from personal experience.

So do Obama’s golf games.

Ronnie on July 19, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Migraines can last longer than Obama’s golf games. Trust me.

Conservative Samizdat on July 19, 2011 at 3:58 PM

I dislike the use of anonymous sources, period, except in cases where there is a legitimate whistle-blower risk – and then only if confirmed by at least one on-the-record source. So I disagree with the anonymity accorded to “former” aides, since presumably Bachmann’s ability to retaliate is limited.

Particularly if the former aides are now working for another campaign, their names should either be disclosed or their allegations omitted.

Still, Strong is not known for going off on wild goose chases, and he does cite multiple sources, even if they are all anonymous. Bachmann will have to address this sooner or later.

It is unfortunate no one showed the same interest in getting Clinton or Obama’s medical history on the record, though.

Adjoran on July 19, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Again, if she is a chronic migraneur, THIS IS NOT NOTHING.

Conservative Samizdat @3:06 pm – Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) is linked to chronic debilitating headache, and migraine.

SarahW on July 19, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Hey Bachmann, welcome to Palin’s world!

idesign on July 19, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Conservative Samizdat on July 19, 2011 at 3:04 PMConservative Samizdat on July 19, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Have you seen Obama’s golf swing?

sleepy-beans on July 19, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Have you seen Obama’s golf swing?

sleepy-beans on July 19, 2011 at 4:04 PM

No, I haven’t. But I’m sure his is pretty bad.

Conservative Samizdat on July 19, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Bachman HAS addressed it through aids, but they are minimizing and I think hiding her problem.

She shouldn’t, actually, skate on the question of if she has unusually frequent migraine. Millions get occasional migraines, some get them with moderate frequency and some have chronic daily headache with severe episodes of migraine.

If she does have frequent, chronic migraine how this is managed should not remain secret because management of her chronic migraine could include regular use of narcotics or use for breakthrough headaches.

Keep in mind that debilitating pain isn’t all there is to a migraine. Some migraine has no pain at all, but cognition and/or vision and other senses can be affected. There is a prodrome and a postdrome and both can last from many hours to many days. The sufferer is wrung out in the postdrome : fatigued, irritable, fuzzy headed.

SarahW on July 19, 2011 at 4:08 PM

If the Caller’s sources are relating a real history of chronic and severe migraine that requires constant management with medicine, that is far different from most person’s experience of migraine.

SarahW on July 19, 2011 at 4:11 PM

Are you claiming that the CinC can’t respond to issues from bed, or are you claiming that a migraine sufferer isn’t capable of rallying during a crisis?
blink on July 19, 2011 at 11:24 AM

If the migraine is severe, yes.

Mason on July 19, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Yet – somehow – I managed to get through all those deployments and patrols.

Huh.

catmman on July 19, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Michelle Bachman”s response will be a defining moment in her campaign.
Hope she makes the best of it.

NightmareOnKStreet on July 19, 2011 at 4:14 PM

As someone who has had migraines…they can last for a very, very long time.

Conservative Samizdat on July 19, 2011 at 3:04 PM

If I get a bad one, it and the after effects of the attack and the meds can last for a few days. The migraines themselves rarely last more than 8-12 hours though you can have successive attacks or rebounds after the initial attack.

catmman on July 19, 2011 at 4:15 PM

The establishment is coming out to get her. Which camp leaked this info? Perry? Romney? Who benefits the most from this news?

Notorious GOP on July 19, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Migraines can last longer than Obama’s golf games. Trust me.

Conservative Samizdat on July 19, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Are you including round trip flight time to Hawaii?

Ronnie on July 19, 2011 at 4:29 PM

If hers are chronic and require chronic management, if she is a “migraineur”, this is actually a real problem.

Not really true. Depends on how you define ‘problem’.

I have no way of knowing for certain but she COULD be taking meds you don’t want your president needing on a regular basis. She might well be taking narcotics on a regular basis to keep her headaches at bay- there’s certainly more to the story than an emergency dose of imitrex to head them off if the Caller is to be believed.

In my experience – granted its personal – narcotics don’t work on my migraines and aren’t very effective at dealing with the pain. The only time they have is when I have had to go in for treatment and they are given in doses to simply break the pain cycle – to stop the immediate pain. Once that’s done, traditional ‘treatments’ – darkness, low/no noise, icepacks, sleep/relaxation, are used to alleviate any secondary symptoms and prevent a rebound.

THere is a prodrome and a postdrome and both are altered states.

Before it begins there is often a period of excitability and ehen the headache is over there are fatigue, irritability, fuzzy thinking, and sore muscles.

While true, this caries from person to person and isn’t necessarily disabling.

catmman on July 19, 2011 at 4:35 PM

If the Caller’s sources are relating a real history of chronic and severe migraine that requires constant management with medicine, that is far different from most person’s experience of migraine.

SarahW on July 19, 2011 at 4:11 PM

I think you’re confusing conditions.

Almost everyone who suffers from migraines – clinically diagnosed migraines – has a chronic condition.

If you don’t get them chronically you might just get bad headaches (regular, tension type) or possibly ‘cluster’ headaches, which can be just as bad as migraines but occur must less frequently.

And what’s the big deal with “constant management”? I take a prophylactic med to help keep me from getting migraines as frequently, but it isn’t a burden. Simply a daily pill I take (along with my blood pressure, cholesterol and GERD meds).

catmman on July 19, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Are you including round trip flight time to Hawaii?

Ronnie on July 19, 2011 at 4:29 PM

LOL.

Look, we can dispute how long migraines last. For some people, its a short thing. For others, it can last a very long time.

We can debate that for a long time.

Lets get back to the issue at hand.

The problem with Bachmann isn’t the length of the migraine but the severity. According to the TDC’s sources, her migraines seem to be on the very, very extreme end of painful migraines. Bachmann is downplaying that severity of it.

Which is it?

Conservative Samizdat on July 19, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Which is it?

Conservative Samizdat on July 19, 2011 at 4:43 PM

You know I was just making joke, right? It wasn’t intended to stand up to scientific peer review.

Ronnie on July 19, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Looks like the liberals are now getting a little uncomfortable with the fact that Bachmann is gaining momentum!
Run you little scaredy cats….Bachmann is coming for you and you better watch out, when she has a headache she can be tough!

SgtRed on July 19, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Have you seen Obama’s golf swing?

sleepy-beans on July 19, 2011 at 4:04 PM

His swing is more of a swish.

slickwillie2001 on July 19, 2011 at 4:49 PM

You know I was just making joke, right? It wasn’t intended to stand up to scientific peer review.

Ronnie on July 19, 2011 at 4:46 PM

I know. :)

Conservative Samizdat on July 19, 2011 at 4:52 PM

Have you seen Obama’s golf swing?

sleepy-beans on July 19, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Let me guess.

He hooks to the Left?

catmman on July 19, 2011 at 4:54 PM

Are you definitively claiming that nobody suffering from a migraine that they would classify as “severe” is capable of rallying during a crisis?

blink on July 19, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Well, it would depend on what “severe” means. But I know someone who gets migraines so bad that they sit in a dark room with no sound, and are still in pain. Percy Harvin missed a game with playoff implications because of a migraine.

Some migraines are too severe to overcome. If Bachmann gets those frequently, then we need to know about it. She could plan around it. But I’d rather know now than find out later.

As to past Presidents – we should have also known about their medical status before voting for them. Think about how our history might have been different had we not elected Presidents who either died weeks into their term, or spent their term dealing with debilitating illness.

More facts are always better. Now, is this story based on facts? I don’t think we can say that for sure, yet.

hawksruleva on July 19, 2011 at 5:04 PM

This thread seems to show that there are enough variables about migraines that maybe more information would be worthwhile.

At the same time, I do think we need to be wary of disqualifying every candidate that we hear something bad about.

hawksruleva on July 19, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Thank you, Ed, for the brilliant take-down of this ridiculous “story”.

One thing that really bugged me last night was this writer’s editorializing:

Bachmann’s mood plunged. During the entire six-hour flight, she was desperately sick from headaches.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/07/18/stress-related-condition-incapacitates-bachmann-heavy-pill-use-alleged/#ixzz1SaTzSvdQ

This isn’t a quote fro one of his unnmaed sources, this was his sentence and look at that adjective! He really came off as “desperate” himself as he breathlessly describes an episode he was not present himself for. He should have said “sources say she was desperately sick”. He’s a TOOL who is probably working for Romney. DC has gone down SEVERAL notches for me because if this. If I want media bias and nefarious agendas and badly sourced stories, I may as well watch CNN.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on July 19, 2011 at 5:09 PM

catmman – Frequency varies greatly among sufferers of true migraine. Millions have them. Some have them infrequently, as infrequently as once a year or even less. A subset has a chronic problem, and an even smaller subset is so debilitated that they require management beyond self-care.

A person who gets a one-off, two-days-in-the-dark sleep it off headache every few months or so has to be distinguished from a chronic migraineur who has frequent or severe attacks. Some require daily doses of narcotic or narcotics for management of a painful attack. (FWIW, not all migraines events cause headache).

For an example, a personal one – in my thirties I had a migraine about once every month or two months and took and SSRI for one week out of every month to manage them. They faded in requency and intensity , as is common, as I got older.

There is a world of difference between the migraine sufferer who gets one once in a blue moon and takes care of it with two days in the dark and sleeps it off, and the patient who is struck down as often as weekly and who may even develop a chronic daily headache in response to treatments.

This is why Bachmann needs to tell us the two things – how often, how debilitating, and how managed. I want to see her own medical history in her own words; if she can’t share that, she is likely hiding the seriousness of her problem.

Does she take a dose of narcotic every day? Does she take larger doses when she has attacks? I have had severe
“kill me” headaches, but none that took me to an ER in search of narcotic painkillers. There are other treatments for prevention and other medicine to short circuit migraines. But does she take narcotics regularly? She needs to answer that specific question.

I wasn’t kidding about her needing an echocardiogram if she hasn’t already had one. She may have a hole in her heart. Her history is apparently of worsening in times of stress – that would fit the PFO scenario.

SarahW on July 19, 2011 at 5:13 PM

hawksruleva on July 19, 2011 at 5:04 PM

If her migraines were as bad as you fear, we wouldn’t need unnamed sources to come forward! We’d already know because there would be that little thing called evidence with her missing work. Ed points out that she has not. If she starts missing events (besides one campaign event for another candidate in ’10) or work due to headaches, then I’ll worry.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on July 19, 2011 at 5:13 PM

I think I’ll just keep posting this until someone tells me where the evidence is that Michelle Bachmann is unable to perform her duties.

Govtrack.us says Michele Bachmann missed 206 (5%) of 4,130 roll call votes since Jan 4, 2007.

For comparision, Gabrielle Giffords missed 669 (16%) of 4,130 roll call votes since Jan 4, 2007.

And Barack Obama missed 314 (24%) of 1,300 roll call votes since Jan 6, 2005.

Y-not on July 19, 2011 at 5:26 PM

SarahW on July 19, 2011 at 5:13 PM

SarahW, woman, of the group of, its my body and get the hell out of my private life thinks that another woman should be advertizing her health records for everyone to see.

Now, maybe Sarah is not pro abortion, but she does fit the mold, female. I think before we take her credibly, I would like to see a list of her donations as well as her registration card. I also think she should make it a public record for everyone to see who she has voted for in the last say decade.

astonerii on July 19, 2011 at 5:30 PM

MB was never going to win anyway, migraines or not.

xblade on July 19, 2011 at 5:42 PM

If “severe” the answer is yes except perhaps for a statistically insignificant group of outliers.

Mason on July 19, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Oh please. Migraine suffering is evenly distributed along a linear scale. Your definitive statement is nonsense.

blink on July 19, 2011 at 3:48 PM

The word “severe” is the crux of this. I don’t deny that there are many levels of effect, incapacity and illness under the rubric, migraine. I’m commenting on the impact of “severe” migraine only. Perhaps the meaning of severe isn’t clear. If so, I’m talking about super, duper, secret squirrel, Jim Dandy, BOHICA, Mama!, Lord come take me home migraine. The sort that the Congresswoman appears to have.

Best to you and to poster Susanboo who seems to have concluded that I am a man and a jealous one at that.

Signing off I’d like to serenade you with an appropriate anthem from the immortal Ms. Peggy Lee:

I can wash out 44 pairs of socks and have ‘em hangin out on the line
I can starch & iron 2 dozens shirts ‘fore you can count from 1 to 9
I can scoop up a great big dipper full of lard from the drippins can
Throw it in the skillet, go out & do my shopping, be back before it melts in the pan
‘Cause I’m a woman! W-O-M-A-N, I’ll say it again

I can rub & scrub this old house til it’s shinin like a dime
Feed the baby, grease the car, & powder my face at the same time
Get all dressed up, go out and swing til 4 a.m. and then
Lay down at 5, jump up at 6, and start all over again
‘Cause I’m a woman! W-O-M-A-N, I’ll say it again

If you come to me sickly you know I’m gonna make you well
If you come to me all hexed up you know I’m gonna break the spell
If you come to me hungry you know I’m gonna fill you full of grits
If it’s lovin you’re likin, I’ll kiss you and give you the shiverin’ fits
‘Cause I’m a woman! W-O-M-A-N, I’ll say it again

I can stretch! a green black dollar bill from here to kindom come!
I can play the numbers pay the bills and still end up with some!
I got a twenty-dollar gold piece says there ain’t nothing I can’t do
I can make a dress out of a feed bag and I can make a man out of you
‘Cause I’m a woman! W-O-M-A-N, I’ll say it again
‘Cause I’m a woman! W-O-M-A-N, and that’s all.

Mason on July 19, 2011 at 6:01 PM

MadisonConservative on July 19, 2011 at 10:59 AM
Got any proof of your accusation!?
Unless, you can prove it, its bulls*tt.
Conservative Samizdat on July 19, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Hum, lets see, what have unnamed, unknown sources delivered in the past, the resent past?

Palin: Africa was a continent hoax.

“an unnamed McCain campaign figure as saying that Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent.
“Who would say such a thing? On Monday the answer popped up on a blog and popped out of the mouth of David Shuster, an MSNBC anchor. “Turns out it was Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, who has come forward today to identify himself as the source of the leaks,” Mr. Shuster said.”

Trouble is, Martin Eisenstadt doesn’t exist. His blog does, but it’s a put-on. The think tank where he is a senior fellow — the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy — is just a Web site. The TV clips of him on YouTube are fakes.
And the claim of credit for the Africa anecdote is just the latest ruse by Eisenstadt, who turns out to be a very elaborate hoax that has been going on for months.”

And then there’s the desperate hangers on!

James Joyner:  An AP story on this matter says, “The hoax was limited to the identity of the source in the story about Palin — not the story itself. While Palin has denied that she mistook Africa for a country, the veracity of that report was not put in question by the revelation that Eisenstadt is a phony.”

Get that? Just because the person who made the claim admitted it was a hoax doesn’t mean its not true!
And then there’s the Lovestine institute hoax.

DSchoen on July 19, 2011 at 6:06 PM

The sort that the Congresswoman appears to have.

Mason on July 19, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Based on what?

Best to you and to poster Susanboo who seems to have concluded that I am a man and a jealous one at that.

The only thing I’ve concluded is that you aren’t very bright.

blink on July 19, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Blinkster, Winkster, I’m surprised at your cutting comment. Suffering from migraine are we? I know that it can adversely affect even normally sane and congenial people so I’ll take no offense.

Mason on July 19, 2011 at 6:35 PM

Mason, you based on a comment on nothing and then doubled down when I called you on it.

As it happens, Bachmann is now claiming that you’re dead wrong. Maybe she’s lying.

blink on July 19, 2011 at 7:06 PM

Certainly not. She couldn’t be lying. I’ll take her statement of denial as definitive and I’ll chastise anyone that tries to examine this more fully.

I’m concerned for you however. Are you feeling better? Unwarranted credulousness is another symptom of migraine and while I would not diagnose that without seeing you your postings here lead one to wonder.

But back to Bachmann. I’ll sic my dog and teenage sons on any naysayers that allege that Ms. Bachmann is absent from public view for long periods of time and requires others to monitor her medication. Bushwa, I say! I stand shoulder to shoulder with you, Blink, in defense of the Congresswoman. I admit that I was wrong about her. She is in sterling health and all rumors to the contrary are plots by people hoping she will be nominated so they can spring evidence of this in the general election. You know they’ll stoop to that. We must embargo all information about Ms. Bachmann until after the election just to be on the safe side. She’s fine really, she’s fine.

Mason on July 19, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Blinkie, take it easy. Take my comments at face value. I think that the Congresswoman is just fine. Just fine. I’m with you. I’m sure we’ll learn later if we are mistaken and that Ms. Bachmann is actually too ill to serve. I say again, this my current opinion, she is in outstanding, sterling health. If you disagree, as you seem to, I couldn’t be more opposed to that unwarranted conclusion but if you hold that view so be it. It’s on your head. I stand behind her, I urge you to reconsider and give her an honest reevaluation. She might be right down your alley. In the meantime I’d advise self control and a good night’s sleep.

BTW, I noticed that your tone changed at about the time that the gin bottle comes down from the cupboard east of the Rockies. I’m guessing you live within 100 miles of the Atlantic ocean. That event comes much later where I live, but I think it’s about time. Cheers!

Mason on July 19, 2011 at 11:06 PM

Blinkenheimer, have you made a contribution to her campaign? I have. It’s time to back your words with action or just back off. Again I say, she’s fine. Just fine.

Mason on July 19, 2011 at 11:39 PM

He’s a TOOL who is probably working for Romney.

Aslans Girl on July 19, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Got any proof of this or are you just making an accusation based on hatred for Mitt.

Believe it or not, there are other Republican contenders who would like to take down Bachmann…

Conservative Samizdat on July 20, 2011 at 1:10 AM

Oh, B.S.

This is a game-changer, whether or not you want to face reality.

Michelle Bachmann is NOT going to win a general election anyway, so why waste your time defending her? You’re too close; you think it’s personal. It’s not.

Bachmann is a strong woman, and I admire her courage. But she is the WORST candidate the GOP could choose, so I hope for Republicans’ sake, people will let this campaign fail on its own merits, because FAIL IT WILL, whether you like it or not.

Bachmann’s migraines are incapacitating; will her stress be lower in the White House? Get real; the sources are sources close to her, anonymous or not. Mocking these people as not credible is actually quite pathetic, since THESE are the people Bachmann has surrounding her, which doesn’t say much for her own campaign!

Strong cites:

a former aide says.
three people who have worked closely with Bachmann
an adviser to Bachmann who was involved in her 2010 congressional campaign.
The former aide says …
the adviser says.

You’re in denial if you don’t think this should impact people’s votes. It will.

mountainaires on July 20, 2011 at 8:25 AM

Compare this story to the admitted cokehead, dope smoking commander in chief in office.

Will the lamestream media EVER question Obowma’s drug use? Who’s to say Obowma is over his drug use? Can we see some of Obowma’s medical records, past and present?

dthorny on July 20, 2011 at 11:44 AM

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