During the 2016 election, it was the conspiracy theory you dare not speak: the possibility that Hillary Clinton wasn’t in great health.
Sure, every Big Mac that President Donald Trump enjoyed on the campaign trail from Jacksonville to Juneau could be endlessly analyzed by anyone and put forth as evidence that the Republican nominee was a health risk.
But the second you talked about the fact that Clinton actually collapsed at the 9/11 memorial ceremony, the media treated you as if you were two inches away from running a four-hour infomercial for Super Male Vitality.
Yet, there the evidence was — Hillary being helped up stairs, Hillary having issues standing, Hillary having coughing spells. In fact, I’m pretty sure the only reason why she spent so long “in the woods” after her election loss was because she had so much trouble stumbling back to the house.
I kid, of course — kind of. See, Clinton still isn’t evincing the gait of someone who’s hale, hearty and ready to do whatever it is she plans to do post-election. (Probably run a scam charity, which isn’t a whole lot different than what she did before.)
Case in point? A recent appearance with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the chief executive of her adopted home state. (Adopted, of course, because it felicitously had an open Senate seat in the year 2000, which just so happened to be the year Clinton wanted to get into the Senate.)
Now, take a look at this video from the event:
There are several ways one can interpret this, of course. I certainly don’t know what happened, particularly since I’m not Andrew Cuomo. (For instance, I’m not getting sued by the NRA.)
However, to this trained eye, it looks an awful lot like he thinks that Clinton is going to possibly fall off the one step she had to climb to make it up to the podium.
I say trained eye, of course, because one becomes something of a Clinton gait connoisseur in this profession. Take a look at this video, for instance, which is probably one of the most famous ones:
Yes, I know, it’s not nice. You know what’s not nice, either? Politics.
Projecting strength is an important part of wielding political power. It’s a basic truism of the game: A vigorous, younger leader (with appropriate experience) will generally outclass an older leader with less energy.
Having observed enough of this over the protracted 2016 campaign and heard a ton of different theories, I came to a conclusion best paraphrased by Harvey Danger: She’s not sick, but she’s not well. This is definitely the lion (well, more like lying) in winter. No, she’s not gravely ill, but she’s clearly well past the point of diminishing physical returns. And yes, that is a problem.
Why? We currently have Kim Jong Un playing with the peace process over in North Korea, a newly-assertive China building an armed, man-made archipelago across the South China Sea and threatening to enter a trade war with us, a showdown over the federal budget and border spending and an increasingly fractious European Union.
Some of these problems would have been different if Clinton were in office, but there would still be problems — particularly with North Korea.
After a rather lackluster campaign and several physical stumbles which made one think she wasn’t as spry as she once was, is this the leader we could really count on to answer the 3 a.m. phone call? Was it something worth taking a risk on?
But, no, please. Let’s go back to talking about Trump’s Big Macs, because there’s clearly a lack of energy there. Just don’t ever talk about Clinton’s pratfalls, else you’re a conspiracy theorist and a sexist.
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