Hillary Clinton is widely viewed as a leading 2016 presidential contender, but pundits on both sides of the political spectrum are predictably split on what impact her current health woes could have on her political aspirations.
“Traditionally, presidential candidates are supposed to project an image of vigor even if they’re older. This won’t help,” said Glenn Reynolds of the conservative blog Instapundit. “Hillary will be the same age in 2016 as Ronald Reagan was in 1980 – but Reagan didn’t have a history of health problems.”
Clinton, who bumped her head and suffered a concussion weeks ago, has a blood clot in her brain that is being treated with blood thinners. She is expected to make a full recovery, according to a statement released by the secretary of state last night.
Clinton is a likely front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, a status Democrats said is unlikely to change because of her current health problems.
“I don’t expect this experience will deter Hillary in any way,” said former Massachusetts Democratic Party chair Phillip Johnston. “I think she has such a reservoir of goodwill among voters that this is a bump in the road.”
Jason Stanford, a Texas-based Democratic operative who has worked on several national campaigns, said Clinton’s prospects remain as strong as ever.
“I don’t think having a blood clot that dissipates safely would hurt her presidential prospects at all,” Stanford said. “She’s more popular than sliced bread in many parts of this country.”
He also hammered right-wing critics who insinuated her injury was part of an elaborate Benghazi cover-up, calling such claims “post-election hysteria.”
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