Hillary’s Health — “What difference, at this point, does it make?” — No Comments

  1. Your comments are interesting, Gerry, though I’m actually far more interested in political candidates’ mental condition than their physical condition. But to return to concerns about physical condition: when one enters the area of speculation about physical health where does it stop? Isn’t physical condition pertinent to others performing demanding jobs? Like a surgeon – such as you – or a trial lawyer – like me? Should we post our medical details on websites? There is a very clear delineation of responsibility for the exercise of presidential powers should the president be incapacitated. There’s nothing like, is there, for a surgeon incapacitated during surgery? I know that there is no such thing relative to a lawyer conducting a trial, except for the declaration of a mistrial.

    Secondly, one can conclude from Secretary Clinton’s high-level of functioning, largely in the public eye, that whatever her problems she gets the job done. Isn’t that what counts? It was pretty impressive to me that she kept functioning with pneumonia and not at all surprising, considering that she kept working while sick, that she finally collapsed. I (same age as Clinton) had pneumonia a year ago and took a full week off work & was only able to return to a full schedule after a couple of weeks more.

    But really, isn’t psychological condition more critical than physical condition? A candidate who is a sociopath, or a narcissist, or a misogynist – conditions often not apparent to the public – presents much more of a presidential danger, it seems to me, than an older person with physical limitations. So if we are going to pry into one area shouldn’t we pay attention to the other? Obviously, though, the psychological testing of candidates (or surgeons or lawyers) is a nonstarter of an idea.

    I would say that the moral is that we voters do not get to poke and prod at political candidates beyond the questioning and listening which makes up political contests. In my judgement, the cauldron of public observation of the public and private behavior of political candidates is quite enough, although it would be most fascinating to be able to consider the results of a thorough battery of psychological tests.

To comment on this issue, go here