Talk about bad timing.
Just days after concerns about Hillary Clinton’s health escalated with the Democratic candidate’s fainting episode at the 9/11 memorial in New York City, she is featured in the October issue of Women’s Health magazine.
Though the timing of the appearance is out of Clinton’s hands — and it’s not possible she could have predicted the health issues making headlines just before the magazine’s release — it still represents another gaffe for a campaign that has frequently stumbled against Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Trump and other Republicans had been pushing concerns about Hillary Clinton’s health for weeks — sometimes gently, as Trump did when he called on Clinton to release her full medical records, and sometimes aggressively as some far-right blogs have run with conspiracy theories that she may be suffering from a serious ailment like Parkinson’s or epilepsy. Clinton and her campaign had waved off these concerns, but they came to a head on Sunday when video showed Clinton stumbling and ultimately being carried into a van after leaving the 9/11 memorial service early.
Clinton’s camp initially claimed that she had become overheated, but later said that Clinton was actually suffering from pneumonia that had been diagnosed two days earlier.
Though she appears in the October Women’s Health magazine, Hillary Clinton doesn’t actually do much talking about her own health. Instead, she is listed as one of 20 women profiled in the annual “Gamechanger” issue and praised for her work advocating for women’s health.
“As first lady, senator, and secretary of state, I would watch world leaders roll their eyes whenever I brought up issues that affect women and girls,” she said (via Breitbart). “But with persistence – and data – I’ve watched it dawn on more than a few men that women’s issues are their issues too.”
The Women’s Health magazine appearance comes as Hillary Clinton is already retreating into defensive mode after her excuses about health problems came into question. While her explanation of pneumonia is generally accepted, many have questioned why the Clinton campaign would choose to keep it quiet, especially after weeks of concerns about her health. Others noted the campaign’s seemingly shifting excuses, first claiming that she overheated at the ceremony and only later admitting that she had pneumonia.
This also represents the latest gaffe for a Clinton campaign many had expected to coast to victory against a widely unpopular Donald Trump. It came days after Clinton described half of Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables” that includes racists, bigots, and misogynists. Though some allies pointed to polls that did show Trump with a large percentage of supporters with bigoted views, even some Democratic operatives chided Clinton for the gaffe.
“It’s Exhibit A of her political incompetence,” one party insider told the New York Post.
“I think a lot of Democratic strategists are in a state of disbelief at how clunky Hillary’s campaign has been. It’s been a year-and-a-half and she still can’t answer the god***n email question, and despite outspending Trump by huge amounts, she’s losing ground to him every day and the race is tightening.”
Clinton has made a number of other missteps, some dating back to her Democratic Primary battle against Bernie Sanders. In March, she attended the funeral of Nancy Reagan and praised the work she did for the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s but was forced to walk that back after a number of activists pointed out that the Reagans had a poor track record in AIDS response.
Hillary Clinton’s appearance in Women’s Health magazine may be closer to irony than a true gaffe on her campaign’s part, but it still looks bad for a campaign that has been trying to run out the clock and maintain her lead over Trump without making any major mistakes.
[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]