|  |  |  | 

Election 2016 History Politics

Hillary’s Health (and Other Presidents…)

Hillary Clinton has had a rather rough forty-eight hours. She recently received incredible backlash from her “basket of deplorables” comment – which Trump has deemed “her 47% moment”, in reference to Mitt Romney’s generalization of the public; she’s flubbed backwards after losing grip of a 10-point lead in the polls; and now, Hillary’s Health has been generating incredible controversy across the land of the internet and throughout most media sources.

Trump supporters are literally so desperate that they’re going on a full assault towards the health of Hillary Clinton. From discussing the topic of “seizures”, “blood clots”, and now the Clinton campaign’s announcement concerning her recent diagnosis of pneumonia, it’s been a conspiracy-theory-madhouse for disgruntled white angst populists these past few days.

Let me explain Hillary’s Health in a historical sense. The concept of attacking a presidential candidate over their physical (or in Trump’s case, mental) health isn’t something new. However, if you take a look at American history, it hasn’t been quite uncommon for presidents and vice presidents to make their way to the White House with incredible ailments you wouldn’t believe of.

Yes, Hillary Clinton had a severe fall which resulted in a blood clot towards the end of her career as the Secretary of State…over four years ago. Well, let’s take a trip down History Lane for a very brief moment, shall we?

Hillary's Health

Oh, would you look at that? Republican men. It’s almost like this whole health scandal is a mix of media paparazzi mixed with subconscious (and very sexist) double standards that previous candidates haven’t been held to! Would you imagine that?

But, let’s take a look at some famous cases of ailments belonging to past Presidents.

First, the Democrats.

Franklin Roosevelt had Polio. John Kennedy had Addison’s. Andrew Jackson had rotting teeth, chronic migraines, failing eyesight, blood in his lungs, several internal infections, and severe pain from two bullet wounds gained in separate duels. Woodrow Wilson had a series of strokes throughout his second term. Grover Cleveland had secret surgery to remove a tumor while leading the country. Franklin Pierce struggled with deep depression and alcoholism.

Now, the Republicans.

Ronald Reagan succumbed to Alzheimer’s, with some sources claiming it started towards the end of his political career. William Taft was morbidly obese, weighing in at 335 pounds. George H.W. Bush threw up on a Japanese Prime Minister during a state dinner. Warren Harding suffered from several mental deficiencies, from extreme fatigue to nervous illnesses. Abraham Lincoln shows signs of Marfan’s Syndrome. Dwight D. Eisenhower almost had his leg amputated as a kid, and during his two terms in office he survived a heart attack, a stroke, and Crohn’s Disease. Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon suffered from random problems throughout their entire lives, let alone their terms.

And, to Hell with it, here’s some problems that surfaced among the Whig presidencies. It seems as if fate was a little crueler towards the Whigs.

William Henry Harrison succumbed to pneumonia only a month into his presidency; the one and only health problem related to Hillary Clinton that should be taken as a threat. But realize modern medicine for pneumonia has drastically changed since 18-fucking-41. Zachary Taylor (who might have been poisoned) died after eating a bowl of cherries from “heat stroke”. John Tyler chose not to seek his initial re-election to his position in the House of Representatives in 1821 because of “illness” – yet he would eventually become president after Harrison’s demise.

And fuck it, why not tell you about some prominent politicians (some candidates who lost, others Vice Presidents) who never became president?

John McCain beat cancer and was a tortured prisoner of war in Vietnam. Dan Quayle had pulmonary embolism and didn’t have the brains to spell “potato” properly. Dick Cheney has survived five heart attacks.

And let’s not forget to mention how some presidents actually died after their terms.

Both George Washington and Ulysses Grant died from problems within their mouth/throat. John Quincey Adams had a paralyzing stroke. James Polk drifted away, violently, with cholera morbus. Taft’s morbid obesity caught up to him, as he succumbed to a stroke. Calvin Coolidge fell over from heart failure. Nixon’s brain swelled up as he lived his final moments in paralysis. Both William McKinley and James Garfield (and perhaps Abraham Lincoln, to some theories) could have possibly survived their assassinations had medical procedures and finding bullets been easier said than done back in the day.

But let’s talk about how Hillary Clinton may or may not be sick, shall we?

The most ironic part of this entire situation, with Republicans bashing Hillary Clinton left and right over her own personal health, is that this is most likely the first time in modern history in which the GOP actually gave a shit about a woman’s health!

Now, I understand. I’m worried about Hillary’s health myself. Just as I would have been worried about any of the previous examples had I lived under them.

But, think of it this way. Physical ailments have entered the White House before, and they’ll enter the White House again in the future. But, Goldwater’s Rule be damned, psychological and mental ailments have no place in America’s most powerful position. When given the choice between two evils, maybe we shouldn’t elect the worst of the two. Hillary Clinton is far from perfect. I’ve expressed this throughout the entire campaign. But America can’t survive a Trump presidency.

Hillary’s Health doesn’t matter. Her policies do. This isn’t the first “scandal” or controversial conspiracy theory that the Clinton campaign has seen. From her damned emails to her pivoting towards the right to details of rigging; she’s been through it all. She’ll get through this.



I’m a writer and historian. Simple enough, right? I enjoy philosophy, sociology, social psychology, politics, basic programming, statistics, and old books. Unlike the stereotypical leftist, I do not necessarily censor myself. I apologize in advance if you find yourself offended by something I’ve said; but I do enjoy hearing criticism and having debates.

Related Articles

  • Book Review: The Economy of Colonial America by Edwin J. Perkins

    Book Review: The Economy of Colonial America by Edwin J. Perkins

    Edwin J. Perkins, a leading figure in American economic history and one of the main three authors that depict the economic situations of the colonial era, is an emeritus professor at the University of Southern California. He currently resides in Laguana Woods in California, where he pursues his own research despite being “retired”, and spends

  • Book Review: The Elizabethan Renaissance by A. L. Rowse

    Book Review: The Elizabethan Renaissance by A. L. Rowse

    Alfred Leslie Rowse, oftentimes shortened to A. L. Rowse, is best known for his work on England under Queen Elizabeth I’s reign as monarch. He was born on December 4th, 1903, in Cornwall. Mr. Rowse is the perfect example of a man of greatness born against all odds, as both his mother and father lived

  • Women’s Roles in New England vs Women’s Roles in The South

    Women’s Roles in New England vs Women’s Roles in The South

    How could you compare and contrast women’s roles in New England with women’s roles in The South? Colonial America had a rather deep division between the north and south. As we know from generalized American history, the northern and southern traditions in America would eventually clash together to cause a great Civil War. But, as for

  • Professionalizing History 6: The Public History of Our Community

    Professionalizing History 6: The Public History of Our Community

    In the last installment of Professionalizing History, we talked about the new age question of whether or not it’s important to apologize for mistakes we’ve made in the past. I highly recommend reading this series in order by publish date in order to fully understand what it means to professionalize history. This time around, I’d like to


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name *

Email *


Joseph Kaminski
I’m a writer and historian. Simple enough, right? I enjoy philosophy, sociology, social psychology, politics, basic programming, statistics, and old books.


Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive up-to-date notifications.

Join 348 other subscribers


Dear reader,

In September 2016, my website server crashed. I've been working on fixing everything since.

This site is currently in a beta state, meaning that design changes and the addition of new features will be frequent.