TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein: Let the public decide whether Bachmann’s migraines matter

Photo of Jamie Weinstein
Jamie Weinstein
Senior Editor
  • See All Articles
  • Send Email
  • Subscribe to RSS
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Bio

      Jamie Weinstein

      Jamie Weinstein is Senior Editor of The Daily Caller. His work has appeared in The Weekly Standard, the New York Daily News and The Washington Examiner, among many other publications. He also worked as the Collegiate Network Journalism Fellow at Roll Call Newspaper and is the winner of the 2011 "Funniest Celebrity in Washington" contest. A regular on Fox News and other cable news outlets, Weinstein received a master’s degree in the history of international relations from the London School of Economics in 2009 and a bachelor's degree in history and government from Cornell University in 2006. He is the author of the political satire, "The Lizard King: The Shocking Inside Account of Obama's True Intergalactic Ambitions by an Anonymous White House Staffer."

One would think the implications of The Daily Caller’s blockbuster report about Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann’s supposed stressed-induced incapacitating migraines would be self-evident — especially for a candidate seeking to become the most powerful elected official in the world.

But some of the reaction to the piece has been bizarre. New York magazine, for instance, claimed the article may be inherently sexist, even while acknowledging that suffering from migraines may be a hindrance for a potential president.

“The article also might trigger cries of sexism: Migraines happen to be overwhelmingly a woman’s problem, and (though Bachmann’s are supposedly stress-triggered), they are often linked to both menstruation and menopause — unavoidable biological side effects of being a woman. And so, just by the nature and associations of migraines, the story serves as a reminder of the cave-man argument from way back against women holding office — that they might be undone by their hormones in moments of great stress.”

It is impossible to understate how colossally stupid this argument is.

It very well may be true  — I’m not a doctor, so I have no idea — that women are more prone to getting migraines. That doesn’t negate the fact that getting incapacitating migraines calls in to question one’s ability to perform all the duties a president is called upon to perform — especially when the migraines are induced by situations far less stressful than one is routinely likely to encounter as president.

This strain of criticism is similar to the whines on college campuses by liberals annoyed they are forced to read so many tomes by “dead white men” that the only reason there is no female Shakespeare is that women were not afforded the opportunities that men were in earlier times. That’s very well may be true. But it doesn’t negate the fact that there is no female Shakespeare and that, therefore, the majority of the literary works in the Western cannon worth studying, especially pre-20th century, were written by white men.

The president of the United States must be able to handle a wide array of duties on a daily basis, many of them unplanned and highly stressful. If Bachmann gets stress-induced incapacitating headaches, as alleged by sources close to her, that calls into question whether she can perform the duties required of her as president. Remember that 3:00 a.m. call Hillary Clinton warned that President Obama may not be able to handle? Well, imagine how hard it would be for Michele Bachmann to handle such a call if she couldn’t get out of bed because of a mind-numbing headache.

Other critics of the TheDC’s report have suggested that other presidents, like John F. Kennedy and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, suffered from illnesses that hindered their ability to do their job in some way. This too is true. But are these critics really suggesting it was appropriate for these illnesses to be hidden from public view, preventing the American people from having a complete picture of the leaders they were voting for?

  • Old Timer

    Got to be the most stupid article headline I’ve seen recently. Since when has that public become qualified to make a medical analysis? The last thing any voter should be considering in a President is an individual with the potential to be MENTALLY inoperative.

    If medication is supposedly controlling those headaches it strongly suggests issues with Autism or Bi-Polar Disorder. It would seem to be time for the public to know the true medical diagnosis for whatever medications this candidate is taking.