No image was more distressing Sunday than seeing Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s legs buckle just before she was to enter her vehicle, leaving the 9/11 ceremony in New York City.
A couple of Secret Service agents caught her and helped her into the van. Clinton was abruptly taken from the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to the Manhattan apartment of her daughter, Chelsea. About 90 minutes later Clinton came out of the apartment waving to onlookers and posing for photos.
She played off the incident as no big deal. But her doctors said that on Friday in a followup evaluation of her prolonged cough that she had pneumonia. Lisa Bardack, the physician who examined Clinton, said the candidate was on antibiotics and had become overheated and dehydrated.
Republicans had raised concerns about Clinton’s health after she coughed giving a speech last week at a campaign stop. But spokespersons blew it off at the time as being caused by Clinton’s allergies.
The Clinton campaign had kept the pneumonia diagnosis under wraps until the Sunday incident. That doesn’t help her build trust among voters for her candidacy.
Clinton’s near collapse in New York and her immediate need now to rest to fully recover prompted Clinton to cancel several events scheduled for this week.
She spoke in Kansas City last week at the National Baptist Convention USA at Bartle Hall. She was surprisingly open and personal with the largely black audience, sharing her faith. But she has to be just as open about her health while on the campaign trail and certainly if she actually were to be elected as the nation’s first woman president.
Women unfortunately still face the sexist stigma of being weaker than men. Women politicians and business leaders repeatedly have proven that to be false. But it is still something that candidates like Clinton work constantly to overcome in the minds of voters.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been surprisingly quiet on the latest developments in the campaign of his Democratic opponent. But Trump also needs to be more open about his health, giving the public more details about his checkup and medical history. In addition, he still needs to produce his tax records to come totally clean with the public.
Voters should be aware of the mental, emotional, physical and financial health of the persons who might lead the country for the next four years and possibly eight so they can make the best possible choice on Election Day.
The schedule that the president keeps and the decisions that person makes are mentally, emotionally and physically taxing. They also shouldn’t have to worry about their finances while in office. They have bigger fish to fry for the American public and as the leader of the free world.
Clinton at age 68 and Trump at age 70 are among the oldest individuals to run for the White House. It’s also not as if the world is in great shape.
The U.S. is involved in wars in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. Tension remains high with Russia, North Korea, China and Iran. Terrorist attacks continue to raises concerns in Europe and the Middle East.
The American and global economies also aren’t as good as they should be with fears over interest rate changes and some instability in oil markets. That’s just a little of what will be on the next president’s plate.
Americans must know ahead of the Nov. 8 vote that the next commander in chief is capable of doing the job.