You've likely heard the big news today: Hillary Clinton has been diagnosed with pneumonia. Her doctor disclosed this in a statement after Clinton was escorted early out of a 9/11 memorial event earlier today, nearly collapsing into her car.
Pneumonia, especially for older people, is serious business. We should all (hopefully) be wishing her a speedy recovery. But what makes this incident so damaging is that the Clinton campaign has spent weeks not only denying, but ridiculing anyone who dared to question Clinton's health.
After Donald Trump questioned Hillary's “mental and physical stamina” last month, a Clinton spokesman dismissed concerns over her health as “deranged conspiracy theories” and “parroted lies.”
Then, last week, she suffered through a minute-long coughing fit during the middle of a rally. NBC wrote a story on the episode, which the Clinton campaign subsequently mocked on Twitter. “Dear @AndrewNBCNews,” Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill tweeted to the journalist who wrote it, “get a life. Thanks. Nick.”
However, as we just learned from Clinton's doctor, her coughing fit was something. According to her doctor, the “prolonged cough” was pressing enough to merit a return trip to the doctor...who then diagnosed her with pneumonia!
Next time Trump brings up Clinton's “mental and physical stamina,” it won't be dismissed as crazy.
But here's my larger question: if this incident hadn't happened, when was the Clinton campaign planning on announcing that the candidate has pneumonia? You know the answer: never. That's how the Clinton campaign operates. That's how they handled the email scandal. Ridicule as ridiculous, until caught, and then adjust. Ridicule as a “deranged conspiracy theory”, until caught, and then adjust. It's dizzying.
Ironically, if the Clinton campaign had simply announced on Friday that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia, the media would likely have understood and let it go. Instead, they fell into yet another lie.
Just consider all of this next time the Clinton campaign denies something as a ridiculous “deranged conspiracy theory.”