A brilliant compilation by the Free Beacon of the message Team Hillary has spent the last 48 hours pushing, dutifully amplified by her liberal cronies in the party and the media. Clinton herself used the term last night — more than once — in an interview on CNN, insisting that she thought pneumonia was no big deal in, er, a 68-year-old woman. I assume everything that comes out of Clintonworld is focus-grouped but you don’t need one of those to understand why they like this phrase. Democrats have spent four months insisting that Trump’s not up to the job of being president; needling Hillary over her health is the right’s way of throwing that back at her. That’s risky for Clinton if the idea catches on since there are bound to be some voters who are iffy on the idea of a woman commanding the U.S. military. Evidence that she’s physically weak reinforces the suspicion that she’ll be weak as president too. Hence the Democratic fondness for “power through.” She’s been under the weather, she was diagnosed with pneumonia, but she’s such a trouper that she kept going anyway until she had to literally be carried from an event. Through sheer force of will and physical stamina, she powered through for days. It’s no coincidence either that leftists are reaching to tie this specifically to the idea that women, much more so than men, handle illness stoically and go about their work in spite of it. If you’re worried about your candidate being seen as weak because of her sex, your message should be that it’s partly her sex that actually makes her so damn strong.
The new explanation from her staff, by the way, is that Clinton tends to get dehydrated because she resists drinking water. Maybe Trump will accuse her of having a weak bladder at the debates.
Clinton’s pneumonia isn’t severe, according to two people with direct knowledge of the candidate’s condition, and she is expected to return to the campaign trail as early as this week. The real issue is chronic dehydration, exacerbated by her lung problem and Clinton’s reluctance to drink water, which has become a source of tension with her staff.
“She won’t drink water, and you try telling Hillary Clinton she has to drink water,” said a person in her orbit – who described a frenzied rehydration mission that included multiple bottles of water and Gatorade.
It’ll be a few days before most polls have fully priced in the double whammy of Clinton’s “deplorables” remark and her swoon two days ago but the LA Times daily tracker sure is interesting today. They have Trump gaining more than a point and a half and Clinton losing more than a point and a half literally overnight. Her very slight lead of 0.3 points on Sunday has become a three-point lead today for him. Hmmmm. On the other hand, the LA Times poll has been bouncy: Clinton and Trump have exchanged leads several times over the past month, so maybe some of his movement today is just the usual statistical noise at work. Even if it isn’t, how long will suspicions about her health continue to bite if she does fine at the three debates? People will be watching those now partly for hints about Clinton’s health; if she seems sharp and manages to avoid another coughing fit, how many voters are really going to care about the swoon?
Anyway. BuzzFeed asked a “longtime Clinton ally” if she would have disclosed her illness had the swoon not forced her to. Answer: “Never. Never ever, ever, ever.” That’s our Nixon!