Hillary Clinton has stumbled, verbally and physically, in the past few days. Her abuse of Trump supporters, or “half” of them, as a “basket of deplorables”, was a lapse of political judgment that forced her to make an abject apology. Then yesterday illness struck at a 9/11 anniversary event in New York and she seemed to collapse as aids helped her into her car. Her verbal gaffe might pale by comparison with Donald Trump’s frequent remarks on a scale of offence, but people expect better of Clinton.
Her uncharacteristic loss of self-control, coupled with the physical evidence yesterday, suggests the stress of the campaign is becoming too much. She is seeing her substantial post-conventions poll lead dwindle to nothing despite Trump’s continuing troubles. Just a week or so ago his rhetoric was becoming so excessive it sounded like he was no longer campaigning seriously. But yesterday he restrained himself from making any immediate comment on his rival’s health, a subject he raised weeks ago and was scorned for it.
Clinton will turn 69 next month, Trump is 70. Both are old to be running for President. The state of their health is a legitimate consideration for American voters. Trump has provided a medical report which sounds more like his language than any doctor’s but Clinton has now given the voters more cause to wonder.
She needs to be completely candid on the subject in the days ahead and give Americans no further reason to wonder whether she can handle the stress. Gruelling as America’s presidential campaigns always are, they are testing candidates for an office that carries immense and terrible responsibilities. Incumbents age visibly in a short time.
Everyone but the most sycophantic and self interested are still pretending there is nothing seriously wrong. Close examination of the video yesterday clearly showed her barely able to stand, and when she needed to take three or four steps into the van, she was able to put her first foot out and then her legs went to jelly.
Media were kept away, so there is no official media coverage. Only videos from two members of the public made it online. One of them had its rights purchased later in the day, and the rights holder set to removing all the non-licensed copies from the Internet.
Twitter had a video clip in a tweet, and that disappeared as well, no doubt enforced by the new owner.
I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.
The pressure isn’t going away:
– NZ Herald