Some people will grasp at any straw for political advantage. That has brought us what Newt Gingrich called “junk medicine” theories of Hillary Clinton’s health. Turns out, all the coughing that her enemies overjoyed about was just temporary pneumonia. None of the theories really said she would be incapacitated. The real story should be whether we want to elect a candidate who is so paranoid that she won’t be open with us, even when it would be to her advantage.


If Hillary’s office had revealed that she had pneumonia, people would have said, “oh, so that’s why she’s been coughing.” And when she went to the 9/11 ceremony, people would have said, “what a trooper! This really shows she has her priorities in order!” And when she collapsed, they would have said, “look how much she cared—to go to the memorial service, at risk of her health!”

But instead of just being “feverish,” her people said she “overheated,” like a broken down’39 Buick.

We’ve talked about watching the gambling sites, because people have money on an outcome are more likely to do due diligence, and not just babble on about their own, personal, political feelings. And it has led to a highly unusual announcement to participants.

In an email, the gambling site PredictIt sent this notice to participants:

After leaving a memorial service Sunday, it was revealed that Hillary Clinton has been diagnosed with pneumonia. Across markets, traders are showing signs of skittishness. Clinton shares have fallen 8 cents on the likelihood she will be the next president.

In a related market, asking if the next president will be a woman, shares are down seven cents to their current price of 63. Shares in the possibility of a Clinton dropout by September 30, prices hit an all-time high of 17 cents Sunday, and have since settled at 11 [now 6]. . .

In the presidential market, Joe Biden shares hit a high of 10 cents [Monday]. Former Clinton adversary Bernie Sanders saw a high of 8 cents, and vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine only went as high as 5.

Truth is, Hillary is probably the least appealing candidate Democrats have ever had—and is a far worse choice than many alternatives. So while Trump people were cheering with glee on Sunday, they were overlooking that they could face a tougher opponent, instead.

And what if, in a worst-case scenario, Hillary were to die in office? That would give us Tim Kaine as president: someone who would likely float to his own election in 2020. Politico notes that there is a sort of “Tim Kaine fan club” among Republicans.

As a rank-and-file Democratic senator, Kaine has shown deal-making tendencies with top GOP lawmakers and an affinity for breaking with his own party that’s earned him respect across the aisle. . .

Kaine’s most high-profile achievement is work in the trenches on a bill that allowed Congress a vote on Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. Working with more conservative Democrats and deal-cutting Republicans, Kaine helped drive a 98-1 vote in the Senate, effectively forcing Obama to sign it and begin the task of lining up Democrats to support it in a roll-call vote. . .

But it’s not just aisle-crossing Republicans like Graham who Kaine knows well; he’s also rubbed shoulders with the Senate’s conservative firebrand class. Upon entering the Senate, Kaine began getting to know Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who would later run for president as a rock-ribbed hero of the right and is perhaps the least compromising lawmaker in the halls of the Capitol.

After being oriented together as part of the class of 2012, Kaine dined with Cruz at the house of independent Maine Sen. Angus King, and the two have spoken regularly about books and legal issues.

“We get along great,” Kaine said of Cruz in an interview in 2014, reported for the first time here. “We’ve socialized together. Took dinners, sometimes he and I together, just the two of us. Sometimes with others. We’re often disagreeing, but we’re both serious about our work.”. . .

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) eventually worked hand in hand with Kaine to introduce a draft bill that was shunned by both parties. But it had the benefit of deepening the relationship between the first-term senators.

Back to Hillary, her paranoia is equaled by psychopathy of some on the right. Some claimed that her strong appearance after visiting Chelsea was really a body double, according to The Blaze.

Twitter users posted photos of Clinton reemerging from her daughter’s Manhattan apartment and pointed out supposed discrepancies in an effort to prove the woman in the photos was not the former secretary of state but a lookalike.

Some pointed to the fact that Clinton was not flanked by staff or security as she left her daughter’s apartment, despite collapsing and requiring assistance getting into a van just hours before.

Other Twitter users took notice of Clinton’s appearance after the episode, scrutinizing her clothing, makeup, hair and jewelry in search of evidence that the campaign had actually employed a doppelgänger to appear in her place.

Meanwhile, Democrats were freaking out. A former DNC chair suggested Dems should come up with a contingency plan to replace her.

A former Democratic National Committee chairman says President Barack Obama and the party’s congressional leaders should immediately come up with a process to identify a potential successor candidate for Hillary Clinton for the off-chance a health emergency forces her out of the race.

The Washington Times says a lot of Democrats are, in fact, talking about replacing Hillary.

Veteran journalist Cokie Roberts said on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” that Democratic insiders are “nervously beginning to whisper” about the possibility of Mrs. Clinton having to step aside. Journalist David Shuster tweeted Sunday, “Clarification from dem operatives @Hillary Clinton pneumonia: Expect emergency DNC meeting to consider replacement.”

For those of us old enough to remember, Thomas Eagleton was replaced as Dem vice presidential candidate in 1972, so there is a precedent—and an example that it could go quite smoothly.

A former Obama confidant complains that Hillary’s real problem is an “unhealthy” obsession with privacy.

David Axelrod on Monday burned Hillary Clinton for her notorious lack of transparency, calling it more problematic than her recent diagnosis of pneumonia.

“Antibiotics can take care of pneumonia. What’s the cure for an unhealthy penchant for privacy that repeatedly creates unnecessary problems?” Axelrod, President Barack Obama’s former chief campaign strategist, tweeted on Monday morning. . .

Throughout her political career, Clinton has been known for her fierce sense of privacy. That trait has haunted her this campaign season, perhaps most acutely with her decision to use a private email server while she was secretary of state — a controversy that continues to be a drag on her presidential run.

People have been talking about former presidents who didn’t disclose their health issues, most notably, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt, as we have already noted. But the Trump people should be careful about running this line too much. One-in-six Americans has a disability, and if Trump pushes the issue too much, he could face a backlash.

The number of eligible voters with disabilities is growing faster than the number of eligible voters without disabilities. A set of projections from two Rutgers professors show that approximately one-sixth of November’s electorate will be comprised of people with disabilities. They total 34.6 million people in all, a 10.8 percent increase since 2008. The number of eligible voters without disabilities, meanwhile, has grown by only 8.5 percent.

For years, their growing numbers have led disability rights activists to claim that voters with disabilities are a “sleeping giant” that could, one day, decide national elections.

Trump has repeatedly said that Hillary doesn’t have the stamina needed to be president, but as noted above, that could be interpreted as insulting the disabled, especially younger “differently-abled” people who have developed a sense of pride, not unlike gay pride—and we’ve seen what gay people have accomplished the last few years.

Trump should “tread lightly” on the issue, because the article also notes, he already has one serious strike against him.

Of all the insults Donald Trump has lobbed during the 2016 campaign, one has risen to the top: his mocking of a reporter with disabilities at a rally in Florida last fall. (Trump has denied he was mocking the reporter.) A Bloomberg poll showed voters found that moment more disturbing than any other, including his attacks on a [dead] Muslim soldier’s parents in July.

Personally, I think the health issue is silly, and the email issue has been overplayed, to the point where most people probably do think they’ve heard too much about “her damned emails,” as Bernie Sanders said in the debate. BUT what both “issues” do illustrate is Hillary’s paranoia and fear of transparency. Those are serious concerns that have been lost in the fog of silly conspiracy theories.

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