Sniping from both sides of the political aisle is to be expected on pretty much any day of the week, especially during a year when everybody's speculating about which politicians are going to throw their hat into the presidential race. But Republican strategist Karl Rove took it a little far last week, speculating at a conference in Los Angeles that Rove thinks Hillary Clinton has brain damage. "Thirty days in the hospital? And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury?" Rove said, according to the New York Post's Page Six. "We need to know what’s up with that."
Clinton hasn't officially thrown her hat into the ring for 2016, but she's widely considered a favorite to run. As is only natural in politics, Republicans have been taking every opportunity to try to discredit her. And Rove is certainly putting in his best effort, drawing attention to the fall Clinton suffered in December 2012. Rove didn't leave it there: Apparently, he mentioned Clinton's fall and the potential that she suffered some kind of brain trauma several more times.
Clinton fell and suffered a concussion in December 2012. She was later diagnosed with a blood clot, which was subsequently removed. Clinton's camp gave Rove's comments just about the right amount of attention they warranted. "Please assure Dr. Rove she’s 100 percent,” a rep told the Post.
Clinton has been through the wringer a bit in the last month. The joyous news that she will soon become a grandmother managed to get twisted into "how on earth can Hillary Clinton possibly run for President now she's going to be a grandmother??"
She's also been accused of being the "mastermind" behind Monica Lewinsky's article in Vanity Fair . Republicans have suggested that she and her husband either paid or in some way forced Lewinsky to "break her silence" over her affair with President Bill Clinton. Because, let's face it, says Lynne Cheney, Vanity Fair doesn't publish anything Hillary Clinton doesn't want published. Right...
Rove tried to backtrack on his comments on Fox News on Tuesday, saying that he never actually said she had brain damage, he was just raising some legitimate concerns about her health. He pointed out that the Democrats were pretty quick to do the same when Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was running for president in 2008. "Of course she doesn't have brain damage," he backtracked in an interview with Washington Post. Ya think?
Personal jabs are par for the course in politics, but really, Rove? Brain trauma?
It's likely, however, that his comments will spark a wider debate that has been rumbling for a while — at 66 years old, is Hillary too old to take on the presidency? Judging by the series of older men who have taken a stab at it for the Republicans — McCain was 71 when he ran in 2008, Ron Paul was 75 in 2011 when he announced his bid, Newt Gingrich was 68 when he ran in 2012 — we'd say she's just fine.