Former Obama Adviser on Hillary's Pneumonia: Clinging To Secrecy Is Creating Unnecessary Problems

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Sep 12, 2016 12:30 PM
Former Obama Adviser on Hillary's Pneumonia: Clinging To Secrecy Is Creating Unnecessary Problems

It took the press 90 minutes to know where Hillary Clinton was after she left the 9/11 Memorial early on Sunday due to dehydration and overheating. She was seen stumbling off the curb getting into her van when the motorcade pulled up, with her Secret Service assisting her in getting into the vehicle. At the time, we didn’t know that this was caused by the antibiotics Clinton was taking for pneumonia, which was diagnosed on the Friday before the 9/11 event. The press only found out about that after this medical episode.

A person who could potentially be the president disappears after looking unwell…and we have no idea where that person went, or if she is okay. That’s a story. And the Clinton campaign totally botched the response due to the ethos of secrecy that hasn’t changed throughout the course of Clinton’s presidential bid. Even David Axelrod, a former top adviser to President Obama, noted that this penchant for secrecy is creating unnecessary drama that feeds into the narrative that Clinton only plays by her own rules, that they are, indeed, secretive, which doesn’t help her combat narratives that she’s untrustworthy.

Pneumonia is a serious illness that can kill people, and the mortality rate only increases with age. So, it’s safe to say that most people would understand if the former first lady had to miss the 9/11 Memorial event. Instead, they hid the diagnosis, which now allows all of us to question her health. This won’t deflect the bad public relations stemming from her email fiasco or her ethically questionable dealings at the Clinton Foundation. It’s now she’s lied about her emails, she might be granting access to folks based on the size of the check they write to the nonprofit, and she could not be physically up to the job. Granted, the latter point might not be true, but it’s out there. It’s marinating in the minds of voters—and that video of her wobbling off the curb is quite unsettling.

Even Clinton’s own communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, admitted that they dropped the ball yesterday, though she said that the public knows more about Clinton than any other nominee in history. Right, so when were you going to tell us that she was stricken with pneumonia? What else is she hiding? It could be nothing, but this covert operation and the pains taken to hide the fact that she caught pneumonia only adds more fuel to the fire. Again, the fallout is going to be entirely Clinton’s doing. Hillary retired to her home in Chappaqua, New York after the incident, and no–the press were not invited.