The Washington Post’s writers have consistently dismissed inquiries into Clinton’s health as illegitimate, the latest Post writer to do so being Chris Cillizza, who heads up the Post’s weblog “The Fix.”
“The simple fact is that there is zero evidence that anything is seriously wrong with Clinton. If suffering an occasional coughing fit is evidence of a major health problem, then 75 percent of the country must have that mystery illness. And I am one of them,” Cillizza wrote in a piece this week titled “Can we just stop talking about Clinton’s health now?”
And yet, up until just a few months before Clinton announced her candidacy, several of the Post’s writers — including Cillizza — argued that Clinton’s health was a legitimate subject of media inquiry and would continue to be so in the 2016 election.
December 2014: Hillary’s health and lack of stamina might keep her from running.
In December 2014 — just four months before Clinton officially announced her presidential campaign — the The Fix’s Aaron Blake wrote an article titled, “There’s a real chance Hillary Clinton won’t run for president. Here are five reasons why.”
One of the five reasons was Clinton’s “Age/health/stamina.”
“The age thing is always a difficult one to discuss, but if Clinton wins in 2016, she would become, at 69, the second-oldest president ever to assume office. Ronald Reagan was 69 in 1981, but was closing in on his 70th birthday,” Blake wrote.
“She and Bill Clinton say she is healthy, and save for an incident in 2012 in which she fell and suffered a concussion and subsequent blood clot, there’s little reason to believe otherwise. But even Bill Clinton has acknowledged the hurdle that is health, which he calls a ‘serious issue.'”
May 2014: Hillary health a factor in whether or not she’ll run
In May 2014, Cillizza wrote an article titled, “Hillary Clinton is the only person who can stop Hillary Clinton.”
“For all the sturm und drang caused by Karl Rove’s insinuations about Clinton’s health scare in late 2012, a blood clot in the brain is a serious thing, and even her allies acknowledge that it was not insignificant,” Cillizza noted.
“Bill Clinton insisted this week that his wife is in ‘better shape’ than he is, and her aides say she has an absolutely clean bill of health. But Clinton would be 69 years old on Election Day 2016. Couple her age with that scare in late 2012 and it’s hard to imagine Clinton not taking a full accounting of her health before officially deciding to run.”
January 2013: Hillary’s health will be a campaign issue in 2016
Before President Obama even had his second inauguration, Cillizza opined that Clinton’s health would be a legitimate campaign issue.
Cillizza wrote, “The simple fact is that running and serving as president is an incredibly stressful and demanding job. (There’s a reason that every president looks as though they’ve aged twice as fast as the average person when they leave the White House.)”
Cillizza reiterated his belief that Clinton faces increased scrutiny before concluding: “But, rest assured that if Clinton does eventually decide to run, her hospitalization for this clot near her brain will be a major topic of discussion. And she — and her political team — will have to find a way to come up with satisfactory answers.”
The piece was titled, “What Hillary Clinton’s health means for 2016.”
January 2013: It’s fair to question whether Hillary is telling the truth about her health.
The day before Cillizza’s article ran, Melinda Henneberger wrote an article for the Post titled “Questioning Hillary Clinton’s concussion.” In it, Henneberger argued that the seriousness of the issue, as well as Clinton’s penchant for hiding the truth, justified skepticism about her health.
“Would we really be shocked to learn down the road that reports during her hospitalization had put a positive spin on her condition?” Henneberger asked.
“Our public officials have trained us to take everything they say with a healthy dose of skepticism, and on a matter as sensitive as a head injury followed by denials of any neurological symptoms, I’m not sure why we would or should unquestioningly accept the word of any politician,” she continued. “After all she’s been accused of — and will be again if she runs next time — this is nothing.”
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