The obvious examples of Hillary Clinton’s health problems are too numerous to be denied. The videos of her coughing attacks, seeming blank patches of speech halt, the intervention on stage by her handler all have been widely circulated on the internet.
Her media handlers pointing to a doctor’s statement that is a year old suggesting she is in “good health” after the need for a major medical intervention give nobody any confidence in her current medical situation.
This is only at the early stage of the grueling general election campaign and should a major health incident or a substantial coughing fit during the debates take place the voter’s confidence in her ability to serve out a full four year term would, rightly, be strongly shaken.
If, as is quite possible, Clinton is unable to continue with the campaign because a debilitating incident or a major event such as a coughing fit so hits her polling position she could quite possibly, and quite rightly, have to discontinue her run.
This would of course be disastrous for the Democratic party, not least because who would replace her is a matter of no immediate answer given the Dem’s lack of a “deep bench.”
Sanders would of course normally be given the role as the runner up in the primary campaign. However the former Independent, then Democrat stated he would return to the senate as an independent once again.
That the party could be headed by someone who has clearly stated he doesn’t wish to be a member would surely preclude him from being the replacement nominee.
How such a scenario would go down with Sanders supporters who would have seen him rejected twice would be an unpleasant spectacle and would see whomever was chosen in his stead being deserted by those who, in loyalty to Sanders, supported Hillary no doubt against their will.
Who then? Joe Biden, whose age and personal family concerns precluded his seeking the office? He might out of party loyalty but whether his heart would be in the campaign is a matter of doubt.
Kaine? Who? Kaine’s claim to the nomination is tenuous at best with only his situation as having been picked as a “safe” and innocuous VP choice from a marginal state without having participated in any way in the run up to the nomination. In fact if participation has any bearing on the matter Martin O’Malley has as good a claim to the nomination as anyone.
Elizabeth Warren was briefly trotted out as an attack dog and the quickly shunted into the background. Whether the DNC would wish to have a female Trump opposing him is a matter of some doubt, as would if her “favorables” would be any better than Hillary’s terrible ones are currently.
Beyond these luminaries it is difficult to imagine who might take Hillary’s place if need be-except for, yes, Michelle Obama.
She is the one person who could legitimately run as “Obama’s third term” and do well keeping together the coalition of overwhelming Black support which might have dissipated with Hillary ( or any other successor) and keep the rust belt states in play against the strong challenge from Trump.
But whether she would wish to run, something she has given no indication of entering her mind is another question, but DNC pleading “for the sake of America” might override any personal considerations.
As it is the Democrats have the sword of Damocles clearly dangling and if it falls they may not survive its descent no matter who the fallen swords point points to.
Their collective prayers must surely be for Hilary’s health to hold out for the next 90 odd days-or else catastrophe awaits.