Sorting Through the ‘Reassuring’ Messages about Clinton’s Health
Relax, everyone! Bill Clinton has arrived to speak to Charlie Rose, to reassure us about Hillary’s health.
CHARLIE ROSE: Everybody would like to know, how is Secretary Clinton?
BILL CLINTON: She’s doin’ fine. She– she was even better last night before she went to sleep. She had a good night’s sleep. But she’s just doin’ fine. She just got dehydrated yesterday. She-
Just dehydrated, the kind that leaves your limbs stiff, your leg dragging, and makes stepping off a curb to a van impossible even when you have three people around you helping you!
CHARLIE ROSE: Is that what happened? She got dehydrated? Because when you look at that collapse, that video that was taken, you wonder if– if it’s not more serious-
BILL CLINTON: No, no. She–
CHARLIE ROSE:–than dehydration and–
BILL CLINTON: She’s been– well, it isn’t a mystery to me and all of her doctors. ‘Cause frequently– not frequently. Rarely, but on more than one occasion over the last many, many years, the same sorta thing’s happened to her, when she just got severely dehydrated.
Ah, it’s one of those “frequently, not frequently” sort of things. “On more than one occasion over the last many, many years.” Does that mean two or three times over ten years? Ten times over ten years? How often do you get “severely dehydrated”?
Note this report in Politico:
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.
Wait, what? I’m not citing this as a reason to vote against her, but it just seems like really bizarre behavior. Bill says she intermittently gets “severely dehydrated,” a condition easily solved by drinking water, and she won’t do it?
Somewhere Michelle Obama frowns that Hillary ignored her “drink up” campaign.
Back to Bill’s interview:
BILL CLINTON: And she’s worked like a demon.
I’m sure with her critics will agree with that metaphor as well.
At times Charlie Rose seems a little skeptical of what he’s hearing from the former president:
BILL CLINTON: Yeah. I was glad– today, she made a decision, which I think was correct– to cancel her campaign day, take one more day to rest. But she looked like a million bucks this morning. I could tell she was feelin’ a lot better.
CHARLIE ROSE: She has pneumonia.
BILL CLINTON: Yeah.
Now, she certainly seemed fine coming out of Chelsea’s apartment. But how many people “look like a million bucks” when they have pneumonia?
Then there’s this strange exchange where Bill makes it sound like he and Hillary have wanted to release her full medical records for a long time, and no one around them on the campaign will listen to them or do as they say:
BILL CLINTON: Well, there– there are– they– the campaign said they were gonna release some more medical information. I don’t know what it is.
CHARLIE ROSE: But wouldn’t you encourage her to release everything–
BILL CLINTON: I already have. And sh– but she encouraged them. She said, “Look, let’s just release them ourselves–”
CHARLIE ROSE: But then why not? And why not do it yesterday?
BILL CLINTON: I– I don’t know the answer to that.
CHARLIE ROSE: You don’t–
BILL CLINTON: I’m not involved in that. No, I don’t–
CHARLIE ROSE: But aren’t you– you are encouraging her to release everything.
And it wouldn’t be a Clinton interview if there wasn’t at least one lament that the press is being so hard on her and giving Donald Trump a free pass:
BILL CLINTON: Yeah. But y– you know, if a Martian came down from outer space and watched America unfold over the last six to eight weeks– it’d be hard to see all these earnest pleas for disclosure, which are entirely one sided. I mean, we also released 40 years of income tax information, almost 40 years.
Not even Charlie Rose can let that go, responding, “But people are demanding that Donald Trump release his income tax returns all the time, you know?”
Yesterday Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon insisted that “as soon as she got into the vehicle, she was alert the whole time and telling staff she was fine. She was making calls to aides from the car.” (Does she look like she’s alert and fine as she gets into the van in that video?) He said she was chasing her grandchildren around the apartment. Wait, doesn’t she have pneumonia? Why is she chasing a two-year-old around?
Finally, last night Clinton telephoned into CNN and asserted, “It’s so strange. As soon as it became clear I couldn’t power through, we said what was going on.”
No they didn’t! He departure was done away from any press. Her traveling press pool wasn’t told where she was or where she was going. It was 90 minutes before she appeared before the cameras again, and about eight hours before the campaign mentioned the pneumonia diagnosis from three days earlier.