You may not be aware that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a bit of a chronic cough problem – one that was on full display today when she coughed for a full minute during a speech. This is largely because any coughing fits of hers – like most aspects of Clinton’s health – are only sporadically reported, and never weaved together as part of a larger narrative that asks questions about whether the former Senator is really well enough for the job of President.
Seriously, if Ted Cruz or Jeb Bush did this we’d never hear the end of it:
…shoot, Marco Rubio* grabbed a drink of water during that State of the Union address and we’re still hearing about it years later.
All that being said, I’m not sure why the Daily Mail counted the coughs… wait, no, I do. It’s like the old days! You see, back during the Cold War, we had this thing called ‘Kremlinology;’ basically, the Soviet Union was run by a bunch of paranoid old guys who never told anybody anything and certainly never talked about their health. Or internal politics, or… seriously, I meant it when I said ‘never told anybody anything.’ So what we’d have to do is try to guess what was going on inside the Kremlin by analyzing the heck out of everything that we could see**. You’d get people arguing over whether it mattered that Godless Commie #1 was standing next to Godless Commie #2 at one parade review, but then was all the way over with Godless Commies #4 and #6 at the next one.
Sure, it sounds absurd now, but when you’re on the outside looking in, and the people on the inside have nuclear weapons that could end human civilization above the township level, absurdity stops being a reason to not do something. So I think that’s what the Daily Mail is doing, here: they’re counting coughs because there’s simply no other possible way to figure out what, if anything, is chronically wrong with Hillary Clinton. Goodness knows, we’re never going to get a straight answer out of the Clinton campaign as to whether she’s unhealthy. The woman could vomit blood on the debate stage and they’d probably try to explain it away as a tribute to Ozzy Ozbourne.
*All three candidates picked because, well, they’re all younger and healthier than Hillary Clinton. Yes, even Jeb Bush. Say what you like about that family, but they’re typically all as healthy as horses.
**Well, not me, because I was a teenager at the time. But if Reagan hadn’t strangled Soviet Communism with its own fetid entrails I could so totally see myself as ending up in that particular line of work. …Which is probably a judgement upon me, and not a good one.