In October 1965, Lyndon Johnson, 36th President of the United States, held a press conference on the White House lawn to assure the public he was fully recovered from gall bladder surgery. I was glad to hear it, but watched, stupefied, as he lifted his shirt to show his scar to the media, the nation and the world. I recall thinking, “Thanks heavens it wasn’t a vasectomy.”
Other presidents have shown none of Johnson’s penchant for candor. Franklin Delano Roosevelt had a raft of ailments yet campaigned, with his doctors’ blessings, for a third term. Doubtless, few of them were surprised when he died 6 months after being sworn in. (Click) John F. Kennedy also kept secrets. His array of ailments should have disqualified him from holding office and yet he ran twice, winning handily, while his doctors kept silent. (Click)
Recently, David Axelrod, former campaign manager for Barrack Obama, tweeted a snarky remark about Hillary Clinton’s failure to inform the public that she had pneumonia. He presumes, of course, that she knew she had it, which sometimes people don’t:
Antibiotics can take care of pneumonia. What’s the cure for an unhealthy penchant for privacy that repeatedly creates unnecessary problems?
I will address Axelrod’s Tweet as he seems woefully ignorant about politics and the fact that women in our society are held to a higher standard than men. Look, for example, at all the fuss over Hillary’s handful of lost emails. Do we lament that when George W. Bush’s left office, 22 million emails had gone missing? (Click)
Hillary’s opponent, Donald Trump, has been hinting about her health for weeks. We all know his implication. A woman is too weak to be president. Just once, I wish Trump were charged with the task of giving birth to a baby before we hear anymore talk about who’s weak.
As for Axelrod, I’m betting he’s never endured press comments about his pant suits, speculations on whether or not he required incontinence underwear, had the number of times he smiled during a debate counted or had to worry that his manner might be to too motherly or too bitchy.
All political candidates get grilled, certainly, and with or without pneumonia, Hillary can take it. But please, Axelrod. Enough with the stupid questions.