Sunday, Hillary Clinton collapsed into her waiting car as she was ushered away from a September 11 memorial service in New York. Against protocol, she insisted on going to her daughter Chelsea’s apartment instead of a hospital. Eventually, her condition was identified as pneumonia. But this may just be the symptom of a much bigger problem.
The bigger issue is the secretive manner in which Clinton’s campaign managed the incident. It is an approach that is sure to prove counterproductive, as it would have been better for her team to address her condition immediately. A lack of information always makes journalists wonder whether something more serious is being kept hidden.
In the course of a week, we were told Clinton just had a cough. Then they said it was allergies. Next, we heard “heat stroke.” Still others said she was dehydrated.
The real diagnosis: secrecy.
From the 15,000 hidden, then deleted, emails to Clinton’s whereabouts the night of Benghazi to the private server stuffed away in a basement in Colorado to her 31 moments of “I can’t remember” while testifying before the FBI to the hidden transcripts of her dozens of speeches for $250,000 each to Wall Street companies, to the three employees under her in the State Department who pleaded the 5th Amendment rather than saying what they knew – one incurable disease keeps raising its ugly head.
Pneumonia can be a horrible illness. But in this case, it may be just a symptom of a bigger problem. Team Clinton couldn’t bring themselves to tell the simple truth – she was sick. This maddening aversion to truth-telling is the real sickness. And if Clinton’s 40 years in the public eye tell us anything, they tell us that her real sickness – secrecy – may have no cure.
About the Author
Callum Borchers is a regular contributor to The Washington Post. A proud graduate of Ithaca College, Borchers has also written for The Boston Globe. He addresses the intersection of politics and media.