Age and Health

May 19th, 2014

Between Benghazi, Brain Damage, and everything else, the GOP is either relentless in its attack on any potential Democratic candidate, or they are scared to death of Hillary Clinton:

Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, insisted on Sunday that Hillary Rodham Clinton’s health and age were fair targets for inquiry ahead of a possible 2016 presidential run, as both he and Karl Rove, the Republican strategist who injected those questions into the debate, suggested that such scrutiny might dissuade her from running.

Are health and age fair game? Sure. We should not ignore the health of a candidate who could be in office for as long as eight years.

Do they have any bearing on Hillary Clinton? No. Instead, it’s just another smear campaign.

Remember when John McCain was running? He was not just 72 years old, he was a cancer survivor. As it turns out, he stayed healthy through much of what could have been his two terms (knock on wood—that he wasn’t elected, that is). But it was wholly acceptable to be worried about a man who could be in office beyond the average male life expectancy (77.4 for males in the U.S.), and whose vice president would be a raving lunatic.

In contrast, Hillary will be 68 in 2016, and the female life expectancy is 82.2 years, meaning she would still be six years shy of that age were she to complete two full terms. In terms of how far she is from reaching life expectancy, she also beats out Mitt Romney, Bob Dole, George H. W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan when they all ran for a first term of office.

So, what exactly is the “age” issue with Hillary supposed to be?

The answer (whisper it, now) is that she’s a woman!

If you don’t think the GOP is going to play the sexist angle, you’re naive. Of course they are.

And the market is prime for it. Remember when Chelsea announced she was pregnant, and many in the media wondered (a) if it would matter that a grandmother was running for office, or (b) if Chelsea had gotten herself pregnant so Hillary’s chances in office would be improved? Forget that both points contradict each other, they were both speculating negatives about Hillary.

When Mitt Romney ran for president in 2012, he had some twenty grandchildren. Aside from the publicity photos in which this fact was played up as a positive, the fact was never even mentioned in the race at all. McCain had four grandchildren when he ran—did anyone even know that?

As for health, what have we got? While dehydrated suffering from the flu, Hillary fell and hit her head. She had a concussion, and a blood clot developed (outside her brain), which was dissipated and caused no stroke or other neurological damage. Aside from possible slight, temporary double vision, there appear to have been no lingering or permanent effects. While the clot could have caused a stroke, it did not, in the same way that it could have caused death, but it did not. In fact, at the time, Republicans actually scoffed at Hillary’s medical issues, claiming she was faking it all so she could avoid testifying about Benghazi. And when she did come to testify, double-vision or no, she wiped the floor with them. But in deference to Karl Rove and Rance Priebus, maybe the Republicans on the committee were even more brain-damaged.

In short, what she had is something one can recover from. You know, like McCain’s cancer.

In the meantime, you know that they will play it up. Determined to stay classy, Fox News ran an article from—I kid you not—The National Enquirer:

HILLARY CLINTON has secretly decided to run for president in 2016, but doctors have warned that pursuing her dream of becoming America’s first female commander in chief could kill her!

In a bombshell world exclusive, The ENQUIRER has learned Hillary wants to spurn her doctors’ advice and announce her candidacy on June 4, 2014 – the day her late mother would have turned 95. …

“Hillary’s doctors have painted a grim picture of her health,” said a close source. “Behind the scenes, they’re telling her, ‘Running for president will kill you.’

But Hillary wants to ignore her doctors because she’s so desperate to be America’s first female president.

Omigod Omigod Omigod!!! You don’t SAY!!!

I’m sure that those who consume Fox’s usual crap will have no problem accepting ”journalism“ told in a narrative mimicking a feeble-minded 12-year-old.

  1. Troy
    May 19th, 2014 at 11:48 | #1

    68 in 2016, and the female life expectancy is 82.2 years

    life expectancy at age 68 is 18 more years, actually.

    and more for high-earning people

  2. Troy
    May 19th, 2014 at 11:53 | #2

    not apropos, but here’s an interesting tech-related thing I just found, via the Japan Times’ Yen for Living blog . . .ápagos_syndrome

  3. Tim Kane
    May 20th, 2014 at 16:43 | #3

    The Republicans should be frightened of Hillary. She may very well destroy the Republican party as we know it – which of course would be a very good think.

    Elections are enormously affected by emotions of the electorate. In 1964, Democrats benefited from a huge emotional wave, the result of the emotional reaction to the the assassination of Kennedy. We might be looking at something some what similar in an emotional waive affecting the election.

    It is my contention, and of course I could be wrong, that nostalgia waives come at about a 20 year cycle. I am old enough to remember when the movie American Graffiti came out, circa 1973, and it created an enormous waive of nostalgia for the 1950s, that was, for the most part, only 14 years removed. Mostly (white) people remember the prosperity and simplicity of the times (minorities not so much) before Kennedy assassination, Vietnam, British Invasion, draft riots, race riots, drugs, hippies, etc…

    A Clinton candidacy is going to trigger HUGE nostalgia for the 1990s. I cannot see how it wouldn’t. People are going to remember when they had upwardly mobile jobs that paid well, the economy growing, the budget balanced, America’s moral authority at an all time high, pre-9/11, we had allies that admired us, pre-torture, pre Bush v. Gore, the American century in full stride etc…

    A Clinton candidacy is going to remind people how great things once were, and how things all went wrong when we voted, sort of, Bush into office.

    Women will, of course, vote for her north of 70%, minorities as well, youth will remember the promising childhood Clinton’s gave them. Bubba will campaign in the South and we could see Clinton picking off some southern states such as Arkansas, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Louisiana, Tennessee &/or Kentucky.

    Some white male Republicans WILL vote for Clinton out of a combination of nostalgia, the bubba factor and their need for a job. Also, Hillary’s popularity surged when Republicans & Fox focused on hating Obama, and dropped her from their sites, then later started praising her and that has given some republicans room in their psyche to appreciate Hillary, even if they don’t remember how or why.

    The meme can be: what happened to the surplus we left the government with? We got off track in 2001, and things went horribly wrong, and now its time to restore the economy, rebuild America and finish building the bridge to the 21st century that the Clintons had initiated but then Bush mutilated. The American century isn’t over yet, it can be restored.

    I could be wrong. Clintons were far from perfect (Glass Steagall rescinded) and they benefited from being in the White House at the right time. But that said, they didn’t screw up their good fortune. And the thing is, people want, they need to be able to create a belief in world that was once right, even if it wasn’t exactly right.

    I would go so far as to say that Clinton’s election was made almost a sure thing by one speech, by one man, made back in 2012: Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic convention. In that speech he eviscerated the Republicans and single-handedly got Obama elected AND Hillary for the following to terms after that in that one speech. And, I think the Republicans know it. And I of course think that Clinton knew it, felt it, even as he was giving that speech, which is why he went WAY over his allotted time. It was his moment of a life time: he was the right person, with the right pedigree, at the right time giving the right speech. I suspect it ranks, in his mind, as perhaps his single greatest moment in his career as a politician. No one winds 3 elections on a single speech (though Roosevelt won his 4th with “his dog Falla” speech)

    If what I’m saying is reasonable, this enormous waive of nostalgia is going to give the Democrats both houses, despite the gerrymandering. Hopefully they will cease the moment and put in place a giant multi-year infrastructure bill and aide to local government bill. I’m talking about 6 years and over $3 trillion for the former and over $1 trillion for the latter. It will be paid for by Clinton (or higher) tax rates plus returns from those investments.

    This then could finally end the recession that Bush created. It would then allow Democrats to retain some of their gains in 2018. It would also allow Hillary to be re-elected in 2020. By 2024 the nation will be totally different demographically. By then, Georgia and Texas will have gone deep purple if not blue. At some point in those years the Supreme Court will have finally gained a progressive majority.

    The Republicans, having created a mess during the Bush years will be thoroughly discredited by events. They were handed a sterling country in 2001, they totally screwed it up, beginning with 9/11 and went from one debacle to the next: lying the nation into a false war, screwing up and devastating the economy, blocking health insurance and economic recovery for political reasons. All of this becomes more obvious with hindsight. The democrats first, stopped the bleeding and applied immediate, short term first aid, and then eventually, after chasing off the Republicans, fixed the economy. By 2020 they should be thoroughly discredited by 80% of Americans.

    Once the Democrats are able to engineer a true economic recovery, I don’t see how the Republicans can actually carry on as a political party. They’ll keep Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, and South Carolina. Everywhere else will be, either purple or blue.

    Of course, I could be wrong about some or even all of this. One big problem is the concentration of wealth in this country – it’s hard to determine the effect of that.

  4. Troy
    May 21st, 2014 at 10:07 | #4

    While it is entirely true conservatives have screwed up this place rather completely since 1993 if not earlier, they also now control (i.e. own) the media, which allows them to pin the blame elsewhere, and redirect the discussion in the first place so people even never get to the point of apportioning blame.

    When you take a tour of democracies these days, conservatives are on top — UK, Canada, Germany, Sweden / Norway AFAIK, Australia, Japan, ROK, Taiwan.

    This is rather vexing; the only major exception is France.

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