Hillary Clinton will beat pneumonia. But she won’t beat her actual fatal condition: untrustworthiness.
In the hours after the Clinton campaign finally came clean (or did it?) Sunday about the candidate’s pneumonia diagnosis two days earlier, the only question that mattered was, as NBCNews.com put it, “Clinton’s core vulnerability is that most Americans don’t find her honest or trustworthy. Will voters now feel like they’ve been misled about her health?”
Why is this even a question? Of course it raises trust issues. Worse, it plays into the hands of Clinton foes who assume everything she says is already a lie.
Let’s go over the latest Clinton error of judgment:
After a coughing fit and during an otherwise false internet frenzy over her health fanned in part by Rudy “I Told Reporters I Was Leaving My Wife Before I Told Her” Giuliani, Clinton chose to not tell the public that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday.
Instead, the coughing had been attributed to seasonal allergies.
Why not just admit the pneumonia? It’s not as if there’s a stigma to catching it. After all, Hillary Clinton’s full-time job right now is rushing from place to place on those tube-shaped petri dishes called airplanes, speaking for hours on end with little sleep, and then diving into crowds of often unwashed deplorables thrusting babies into her face.
If she didn’t catch some sort of bug, I’d say she’d need to be examined to ensure that she’s human.
So instead of being forced to admit her own frailty, Clinton concocted a lie: it’s just allergies, you know, which come from happy things like flowers. It’s not a disease that brings to mind decay, 19th century industrial slums and physical weakness.
The larger question that will be raised by the “health scare” is the one that has dogged Clinton forever: Why does she create cover stories rather than reveal the truth? At many critical turns in her lengthy career, Clinton has chosen obfuscation rather than revelation.
(One caveat: She is running against a man who says he is successful yet has not released his taxes, so it’s not exactly a great year for honesty.)
A short Clinton list:
The Goldman-Sachs speeches: What could she possibly have said to investment bankers that the public just can’t know? Probably nothing. So why hide it?
Classified documents: She is still saying she never received or sent classified material. PolitiFact calls that false.
The email server itself: Why delete tens of thousands of emails off your private server? Hitting “delete” means “I don’t want the public to see this.” Telling the public “I don’t want you to see this” can be translated to, “I am not trustworthy.”
Bill Clinton’s infidelity: It’s perfectly acceptable to stay with a cheating husband, but it’s not acceptable to smear people who are telling the truth about said husband as part of a “vast right-wing conspiracy.” And the actual existence of the “vast right-wing conspiracy” doesn’t justify the lie, either.
Landing under sniper fire in Bosnia in 1996? It never happened, so why say it did? Being forced to admit the lie years later was far more damaging than having the public know at the time that as First Lady, Hillary Clinton was never fired upon but was, instead, given a bouquet of flowers by a young girl.
Missing law firm records from the 1970s? She said she was a minor player in Whitewater. But if that was true, why hide documents?
The list goes on: Her fixed cattle futures investments, her denials that her husband sold a presidential pardon to Marc Rich, her explanation of why the White House travel office staff was fired and replaced with Clinton friends, defending the false narrative about Benghazi.
In all cases, Hillary Clinton’s first instinct was to deny, hide or create a cover story. Many times, her cover story is completely believable or even reasonable. But sometimes it isn’t. And therein lies the problem because once a cover story is revealed to be a lie, no one can believe any of the cover stories anymore.
Or, as Mark Twain supposedly once said, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
So do you think the public — nearly 60% which doesn’t trust her already, according to polls — will again feel “misled” by Hillary Clinton and her failure to be honest about her health?