4 Reasons Hillary’s Cough Matters, And One Reason It Doesn’t


So, the internet is abuzz this morning with news of Hillary Clinton’s coughing fits. For months, certain conservatives have focused intently on Hillary’s health: why won’t she release her full medical records? Does she lean on stools at her rallies? Why does she go absent from the campaign trail routinely?

Most of this has been wildly overblown – we have no evidence that Hillary’s got the black lung, pop. And her personal doctor has released a letter discussing her health and clearing her for her presidential run (although the media have had no qualms about casting aspersions at Donald Trump’s questionable doctor’s note).

But the coughing fits matter for a few other reasons.

1. She Made Her Health An Issue While Talking To The FBI. FBI documents released on Friday show that Hillary told the FBI that “in December of 2012, Clinton suffered a concussion and then around the New Year had a blood clot. Based on her doctor’s advice, she could only work at State for a few hours a day and could not recall every briefing she received.” There are two ways to read this: first, that Hillary couldn’t remember briefings because of her concussion; second, that Hillary missed required meetings because of her concussion. Either way, it’s not ridiculous to ask about the extent of that concussion and further health ramifications.

2. Hillary’s A Pathological Liar. Hillary lies about everything. Everything. Her pathological dishonesty means that unwillingness to come completely clean about her medical records looks more dishonest than it would with another candidate. For example, Donald Trump hasn’t turned over his full medical records, and his doctor’s letter is patently silly. But there’s less pressure for him to turn over his health records because (1) he doesn’t appear unhealthy, and (2) Hillary has a history of hiding information from the public. Hillary may just have allergies. Or, alternatively, she could be lying about her health.

3. Hillary’s Health Is A Concern In A Dangerous World. Donald Trump has been stating that Hillary doesn’t have the “stamina” for world leadership. Her absence in Louisiana and her repeated weekends off the campaign trail – plus her fashion choices, which range from hospital gowns to Kirkland tents – make people suspicious that Trump is right.

4. The Media Covering For Hillary Is Insane. Today, Chris Cillizza wrote a piece calling questions about Hillary’s health “absurd.” That’s not unusual – MSNBC tried to cut off actual video of Hillary’s coughing spasm over the long weekend. The media have a stake in defending Hillary Clinton on every score, and her health happens to be a rich vein for them to mine, since there are a number of wild theories swirling about the state of her health. But one of the things pushing those theories forward is the media’s obvious unwillingness to question Hillary about her health.

There’s one big reason Hillary’s health doesn’t matter, however: it doesn’t help Trump win elections. No Hillary voter is going to shift over to the 70-year-old overweight dude who downs fast food routinely over Hillary’s coughing. Conservatives should be putting far more focused on Hillary’s FBI investigation than Hillary’s walking pneumonia. But saying questions about Hillary’s health simply don’t matter is dishonest, particularly from the same people who questioned John McCain’s health.