With Clinton Sick, Could Biden Swoop In?

The long-held conspiracy about Hillary Clinton's health hit the mainstream media Sunday. After Clinton became dizzy and was escorted to her vehicle during a 9/11 memorial service in New York over the weekend, her campaign announced that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday, prompting some observers to question whether she was up for the job of running a campaign (and the country) as the general election approaches. So what would happen if she wasn't able to continue her campaign? Would Joe Biden replace Clinton if she dropped out?

Well, first of all, cue the conspiracy theories: People are suddenly convinced that Clinton has a body double, which would mean no matter what happens, there will be some version of Clinton running for office. Clinton's health, which has long been the subject of a Trump-led conspiracy theory, is now making its way into the headlines as a serious matter moving forward into the general election. With Clinton confined to her home until she recovers from pneumonia, questions are circulating about whether she will maintain her position as the Democratic nominee, or who would replace her if she dropped out. (This is entirely speculative; pneumonia is typically easily treatable, and there are no valid indications that Clinton would drop out.)

Journalist David Shuster tweeted on Sunday that the DNC would allegedly hold a meeting to consider Clinton replacements (a claim that the DNC has not supported in any way), and for some, Vice President Biden has made the list. Biden was reportedly a top replacement pick in the case of a Clinton indictment over those emails, so he would likely be a contender to replace her in the case of a health issue.

Biden has been campaigning on Clinton's behalf over the last few months, giving a speech at a rally in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania. He also took over her Instagram account on that campaign stop. And now, it seems that some people within the DNC have started to consider Biden taking over the Democratic nominee's campaign — yes, even over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Clinton's vice presidential pick, Tim Kaine. Biden recently told Connecticut's NBC affiliate in an interview that he regretted not running in the 2016 election, noting, "I regret it every day, but it was the right decision for my family and for me. And I plan on staying deeply involved."

Either way, let's be honest: It's highly unlikely that Clinton is going anywhere anytime soon. She has been planning her takeover of the White House since at least 2008 — maybe even earlier, who knows — when she first ran for the Democratic nomination against President Obama. There's no way she would drop out without one hell of a fight. Pneumonia won't keep her down for long.