Permit a supremely cynical thought . . .
For Republicans, the best option in 2016 is to win the presidency. Indisputably.
But if Republicans had to pick a Democrat to win in 2016 . . . one can easily imagine more formidable opponents in the Oval Office than a then-69-year-old who suffered a blood clot that could, in more dire circumstances, “have killed her, or caused severe brain damage, if it had gone untreated.”
(Bill Clinton yesterday said it was “a terrible concussion that required six months of very serious work to get over.” What if she gets a stomach virus again? What if she slips, falls, and gets a concussion again?)
Clinton’s four years of constant travel and stress at the State Department left her appearing exhausted; it’s hard to imagine that the daily grind of one of the world’s toughest jobs would leave her appearing and feeling rejuvenated and energetic. As president, Hillary would live in the spotlight nearly 24-7, and every run-of-the-mill misstatement, memory slip, or loss of balance could (and probably would) be interpreted as a sign of a major health issue. President Hillary Clinton’s health would be a constant distraction, even if she were in perfect health for a woman in her 70s.
A president inevitably makes difficult decisions that disappoint or anger past allies; a neurological problem may be the disappointed allies’ preferred explanation for decisions they deem faulty. You can count on hostile states spreading rumors of ill health and mental impairment in the international arena. And then you have to wonder how her vice president will feel about all this. Of course, all of this assumes that Hillary Clinton’s physical and mental health are indeed fine and at no point in the next six to ten years does any serious issue arise.
This could all make for a very, very messy presidency.
It’s probably nothing.