Campaigning With Pneumonia Can't Be That Easy

I don't know about you, but when I'm sick (even with something as minor as a common cold), I can barely do anything, a state my friends jokingly called "sick baby syndrome." That's why it's so appalling that some media members have begun ganging up on Hillary Clinton for having to leave a campaign event early for reportedly having pneumonia. Luckily, funnyman Patton Oswalt said what so many of us where thinking — that it's really hard to campaign when you have freaking pneumonia, and that Clinton is a boss for doing so.

I also work in politics, and in 2014, I came down with a virus that resembled pneumonia while on the campaign trail for a state senate campaign in my home state of North Carolina. I'd only been on the job for a week or so, and couldn't just take off the week of work my doctor recommended, so I powered through — and looking back, that week is a blur of cough drops, tissues and the blue glow of my laptop screen. I was a field organizer, meaning my job involved recruiting and managing volunteers, and if I recall correctly, I made upwards of 300 calls that week to potential volunteers. It's not an overstatement to say that that week was a hell of pain, sinus pressure, and confused phone calls to volunteers. And I was in a mid-level job in a state legislative race. To be at the helm of a presidential campaign, especially one as intense as this one, while being sick must be grueling, and is a sign of strength on Clinton's part.

In a two-tweet mini-rant seemingly aimed at the media members circling the story of Clinton's pneumonia like carrion, Oswalt (rightfully) declared that Clinton's ability to campaign through pneumonia is "badass," and compared her treatable illness to "narcissism," a quip clearly leveled at Donald Trump.

Oswalt also retweeted some tweets in defense of his argument that Clinton is all the stronger for campaigning through illness:

Like much of his humor, Oswalt's defense of Clinton manages to hilariously touch on a very sobering issue: that many outlets and journalists are treating a commonplace and curable illness as evidence of Clinton's unfitness for the presidency, while treating the manifold and serious accusations about Trump's character and lack of experience as afterthoughts. It's hard to analyze this seeming double standard and see anything but sexism.