CHARLOTTE, N.C., September 12, 2016 — September 11 is becoming a day for momentous events. Hillary Clinton’s collapse while leaving a 9/11 memorial on Sunday has opened Pandora’s box, and it’s anybody’s guess as to what will happen between now and the election.
For weeks there has been speculation about Clinton’s health. First there were Clinton’s extended bouts with coughing followed by an odd video where she appeared to have a spasm while walking along a rope line.
Conservative media immediately pounced on the story. The liberal press did its best to ignore it and focus on other things, many times non-stories when compared to larger issues.
But the sequence of events in New York on Sunday forced the media on both sides to report the rapidly breaking news and, in the process, may very well have damaged Clinton’s advantage with the press.
According to reports, pool reporters were denied access to Clinton for more than an hour and a half, which served to add another layer of controversy to the Democratic candidate’s trustworthiness.
Health issues aside, Clinton’s handling of the situation provides strong insights into the way she would govern. Given her scandalous past combined with a similar administrative style by President Obama, that could be a serious blow to her credibility.
The brutal campaign schedule could take its toll on even the healthiest of much younger candiates despite the special treatment with flight schedules and motorcades that ease access to and from events.
Some analysts speculate about what Clinton’s absence on the campaign trail might do to nightly news reports of her activities.
Were she less well known, a long gap in Clinton’s appearance schedule would raise probing questions, but Clinton is a well-known personality who can probably weather a brief stint on the disabled list.
It might even help her, thanks to the sympathy factor and the knowledge that Clinton fares better when she is not visible than when she is.
That poses a problem for Donald Trump, who must maintain his composure and not kick his opponent while she is down. It also means that the coverage he receives could receive stronger scrutiny and that might make for a greater potential for gaffes.
The first debate is two weeks away. Clinton must be on the top of her game, appear healthy and in control of the situation for that. But it also raises the question of her strategy between now and then.
Added to the health speculation will most certainly be the questions about what does the Democrats do if Clinton cannot fulfill her candidacy before the election.
And, if the election does take place with her on the ballot, what contingencies will be adopted if Clinton cannot take the oath of office or if she should be forced to step down shortly afterward?
The Constitution has addressed such situations, but the Constitution has been severly challenged time and again by the current administration with little or no debate from the Republicans. Some experts might say that it is no longer relevant.
The internet has even run conspiracy theories about Obama claiming that he might retain his office due to a national emergency. Is there a potential loophole he could find?
Does Donald Trump benefit from having a lame duck opponent or does that make him more vulnerable?
The questions are limitless and the speculation will run the gamut between now and the September 26th debate and the remainder of the campaign.
Clinton’s e-mails will most certainly become an additional burden, the health issue can no longer be ignored or covered up and the Benghazi controversy could also pop up as a heavy straw that breaks the camel’s back. Furthermore, Hillary must also deal with her recent comment about deplorable Americans who support Donald Trump.
That statement may fade for now while the health issue is the big news, but it will certainly become a factor as the main event gets closer.
Oktoberfest is an annual festival in Munich, Germany that actually takes place in September. During American elections, the so-called October-fest of politics is frequently a surprise event that occurs at the last minute to alter the course of the campaign.
It appears the American elections have taken a page from Germany’s playbook and held our October-fest in September as well.
Then again, there are still several weeks until the November election. Don’t be surprised if there are more surprises on the horizon of the most surprising presidential campaign in American history.
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Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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