Will Clinton's health seal her fate?

Following her dizziness spell at the 9/11 commemoration ceremony in New York, Hillary Clinton has defended her decision to remain silent about her pneumonia. Clinton's health could prove fatal for her White House ambitions, some commentators write. Others take a critical view of the debate itself and ask whether candidates really should make all their affairs public.

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Le Soir (BE) /

Voters must be informed about health issues

There are good reasons for candidates having to inform the public about their state of health, Le Soir comments:

“Anyone who avoids answering questions about health issues that could jeopardize their ability to govern smoothes the way for demagogues - who are already having an easy time of things. Trump, for once, has refrained from jumping on the bandwagon. ... Lying about one's state of health harms politics writ large. What's more, such lies are a denial of the very principles of democracy. Although information about one's personal health belongs to the private sphere, if one is seeking election to one of the highest offices in the state - without wanting to succumb to the tyranny of transparency - the electorate should be able to gauge a candidate's ability to govern.”

Aftonbladet (SE) /

Clinton a victim of Trump's misogyny

Donald Trump's reaction to Hillary Clinton's dizzy spell is a clear sign of the Republican candidate's misogyny, Aftonbladet believes:

“By weakening his rival, Donald Trump is shoring up his image as a macho man. He believes a true winner must dominate all women, and if he can't sleep with them he's got to humiliate them on Twitter: 'If Hillary Clinton can't satisfy her husband, what makes her think she can satisfy America?' [a retweet by a Trump staff member that was immediately deleted.] That's going too far, like so much in the American election campaign. But in fact our gut reaction should be to sound the alarm. Because similar things are happening in Sweden, and in Germany the tone against Angela Merkel is increasingly acrimonious. ... Of course women politicians must be open to criticism. But they must not be hauled over the coals just because they're women.”

Delo (SI) /

No one asking about mental health

The debate over Hillary Clinton's state of health highlights two problems in US politics, Delo comments:

“Firstly it shows that US politics, once a model for other nations, has sunk to a very low level. Secondly it has made clear that this would never have been possible if the American public hadn't approved, rewarded and even basically demanded such methods. There is something hypocritical behind all this because the arguments revolve solely around physical health. There is no discussion about the mental health of the politicians, for instance those who might suffer from borderline personality disorder. Such people have already caused major problems in the past, even wars of apocalyptic proportions if we think back to the Second World War.”

Hospodářské noviny (CZ) /

Trump really could win

Clinton's way of handling her illness is only one in a series of blunders, Hospodářské noviny admonishes:

“Her sickness fits in perfectly with her biggest handicap: she isn't honest, trustworthy or transparent. In short, she's always hiding something, whether it has to do with her emails or the practices of her foundation in her days as secretary of state. ... Her adversary Donald Trump is clever enough to hold his fire for now, but of course this is grist to his mill. ... It's only 50 more days until the election. While Clinton leads in key states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, at the national level preferences are more or less balanced. The excitable, crude and ignorant narcissist Donald Trump might actually win.”

ABC (ES) /

Weak candidate floundering

The US establishment is wondering whether Hillary Clinton is really the right candidate for president, ABC observes:

“And now her illness. Supposedly a lung infection, but many aren't buying it. ... The problem is that with seven weeks to go before the elections they are in danger of ending up with a candidate who is 'wasting away'. Hillary was a weak candidate right from the outset owing to her many previous maladies, her overly tough image as an iron first lady and then as an unscrupulous politician when she was secretary of state or running against Obama in the primaries. Her use of an unfair advantage against Bernie Sanders and her operations in the Clinton Foundation left her looking greedy and dishonest. She covered up political scandals, diplomatic failures and illegal communications. On top of this there are now the permanent doubts about whether she is telling the truth about her health.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

Neither candidate a spring chicken anymore

The doubts about Clinton being fit enough for the job of president won't decide the election, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung believes:

“Donald Trump has cleverly avoided exploiting Hillary Clinton's illness and is instead hoping that the doubts he sowed in voters' minds about her physical fitness a while ago will bear fruit. As things stand now all this is unlikely to decide the outcome of the election. As long as Clinton's state of health doesn't force her to give up her candidacy the voters won't turn their backs on her in droves; the political debate is too serious and profound for that. Moreover the public realises that neither of the two candidates are spring chickens anymore. Friendly medical reports won't change the fact the two people who are at an age when most people retire, and for good reason, are competing for a very demanding job.”