At National Journal Charlie Cook suggested that Hillary Clinton might be too old to run for President.
The question remains: Is Hillary Clinton really a 100 percent lock to run? I think it is a pretty good bet, maybe 70 percent chance or so; but that also means there is an approximately 30 percent chance that she doesn’t throw her hat in the ring. The current political environment certainly argues on behalf of a Clinton run, and it would be very difficult—but not impossible—for anyone to beat her for the nomination. However, these choices can never be considered 100 percent political decisions. Clinton turns 67 this October. At that age, she will likely be making her candidacy decision, and if nominated Clinton would turn 69 two weeks before the 2016 general election, notably the same age Ronald Reagan was when he was first elected in 1980. The choice to run for president is effectively a nine-year commitment: one year to run, another four years if she wins a first term—finishing up that term at age 73—and then, assuming she runs for reelection and wins, serving four more years to end a second term at 77 years of age. None of this is to say that the age issue could successfully be used against her. After all, Reagan won the presidency at the same age. But how many 67-year-olds make nine-year commitments, and what concerns have to be addressed if they do?
Without a doubt liberals will get all up in arms about this suggestion, but let’s crank up the wayback machine.
In 1984 George Ball of the NY Times claimed that Ronald Reagan was too old to run for President.
In 1980, the pundits said Ronald Reagan was too old and too physically vulnerable to be President. Four years and one assassination attempt later, George Ball again tells us that President Reagan is too old to be re- elected (Op-Ed June 24). In addition to grimly warning us of actuarial probabilities, Mr. Ball speaks of the senility and incapacity that may accompany the aging process.
Back in 2008, Anna Quindlen thought John McCain was too old:
Here’s my unscientific theory about the presidency: it ages a person in dog years. Each year in office is roughly equivalent to seven years in the life of an ordinary citizen. I base this on before-and-after photographs of the occupants of the Oval Office, who frequently look as though they’ve spent their time in captivity, being beaten with sticks. Which may help explain why 71-year-old John McCain, who actually has been beaten in captivity, may think that the fact that he would be the oldest person ever to enter the job is immaterial. In this, alas, he is mistaken.
It’s going to be entertaining watching her choke on those words.
And the ever-daft Joan Walsh proved she learns nothing from history:
While I don’t think this is true for Corn, there’s no doubt Clinton’s age will push more people’s buttons than if she were a man. Back in 2007, after Matt Drudge ran an AP photo of a tired-looking Clinton, Rush Limbaugh asked his listeners, “Will this country want to actually watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?” She had just turned 60. Expect more of the same, much more, from sexists on the right should Clinton decide to run. Democrats don’t have to support Clinton, but they might avoid sharpening the weapons right-wingers will use against her.
Jim Geraghty recently observed Hillary’s recent haggard appearance
As an aside, there’s a trove of stuff to use against Hillary here thanks to Common Dreams, not the least of which is this quote from Jane Fonda:
Jane Fonda says that Hillary is a “ventriloquist for the patriarchy with a skirt and a vagina. It may be that a feminist, progressive man would do better in the White House.”
And Anna Quindlen again:
“The truth is that Senator Clinton has a woman problem,” said Anna Quindlen, a Newsweek columnist. “The fantasy was that the first woman President would be someone who would turn the whole lousy system inside out and upside down. Instead the first significant woman contender is someone who seems to have the system down to a fine art.”
Now back to Charlie Cook for why she shouldn’t run at all:
According to The Atlantic, during her tenure as secretary of State, Clinton traveled for 401 days to 112 countries, totaling 956,733 miles, a distance equal to more than 38 times around the globe; wags have taken to calling it “odometer diplomacy.” But also worth noting is how in Secretary Clinton’s last year at her post, particularly the last few months at the State Department, the position clearly took a toll on her health; she experienced an episode of fainting or passing out, and suffered a head injury. None of this necessarily is to argue against her running, but she would be undertaking something that, as she well knows, is considerably more physically demanding even than her previous position, and at an older age. This is not necessarily an end-all-be-all argument that she should or would not run, simply that she likely would have to think long and hard as to whether she is physically up to the rigors of running and serving in office. Having run for president once before, and enduring two presidential campaigns and terms as a spouse, no one understands more clearly than Hillary does what the position demands. Do all of the people who say that she absolutely will run know and appreciate this as much as she obviously does?
Cook is not a doctor, and he sells the injury short.
Head injury? Traumatic brain injury is what Clinton suffered and a significant one at that. Puffington Host did its best to distract everyone from the severity of the injury, calling it a “mild concussion.” It’s considerably more than that. Mild concussions do not leave one with severe and lasting visual disturbances. A mild concussion is one in which there is no loss of consciousness and symptoms do not last more than 15 minutes. Clinton’s injury is far past that.
A brain injury lawyer warned against trivializing Clinton’s brain injury:
Michael V. Kaplen, a leading New York brain injury attorney and immediate past president of the Brain Injury Association of New York, today voiced his distress of politicians and certain segments of the news media seeing to trivialize the effects of the concussion sustained by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
According to Kaplen, who serves as Chair of the New York State Traumatic Brain Injury Services Coordinating Council and served as Chair of the American Association of Justice, Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, “All concussions are brain injuries and must be taken seriously. You can never minimize a concussion and anyone who has ever had to live with the effects of a concussion understands the seriousness of this condition and the need for rest.”
Brain Injury attorney Kaplen, a partner in the New York personal injury law firm
De Caro & Kaplen, has received numerous complaints from individuals and their families who continue to suffer the effects of concussions.
A Grade 3 concussion involves the loss of consciousness. We do not yet have all the details of the injury but were she to run for office, disclosure would be very important. First details of Clinton’s fall were minimal and dismissive. Later it was disclosed that Clinton had developed a blood clot in her brain. The clot was attributed to “dehydration” but transverse sinus thrombosis consequent to dehydration is seen more commonly in children and infants and not adults. This was added, cryptically:
A transverse sinus thrombosis is a clot arising in one of the major veins that drains the brain. It is an uncommon but serious disorder. According to Greenwald, the clot was most likely caused by dehydration brought on by the flu, perhaps exacerbated by a concussion she recently suffered.
The fall most likely caused the clot.
This was a far more serious injury than has been acknowledged thus far. Clinton also suffers from a long term visual deficit consequent to the fall. That’s why she is wearing those Fresnel-lens glasses. She has double vision.
There is still more to consider. Traumatic brain injuries can lead to early onset of dementia
Patients diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI) had over twice the risk of developing dementia within seven years after diagnosis compared to those without TBI, in a study of more than 280,000 older veterans conducted by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco.
or even Alzheimer’s.
A study, performed in mice and utilizing post-mortem samples of brains from patients with Alzheimer’s disease, found that a single event of a moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) can disrupt proteins that regulate an enzyme associated with Alzheimer’s. The paper, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, identifies the complex mechanisms that result in a rapid and robust post-injury elevation of the enzyme, BACE1, in the brain. These results may lead to the development of a drug treatment that targets this mechanism to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
“A moderate-to-severe TBI, or head trauma, is one of the strongest environmental risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. A serious TBI can lead to a dysfunction in the regulation of the enzyme BACE1. Elevations of this enzyme cause elevated levels of amyloid-beta, the key component of brain plaques associated with senility and Alzheimer’s disease,” said first author Kendall Walker, PhD, postdoctoral associate in the department of neuroscience at Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM).
Clinton’s brain injury was significant and the damage is lasting. Were she to run complete disclosure of the injury would be a absolute necessity. Personally, I don’t think the risk is worth it. She is brain damaged. Period.