Over the weekend, Karl Rove repeatedly suggested that Hillary Clinton has had a brain injury, dredging up an early conspiracy theory questioning Clinton's ability to run for president.“Thirty days in the hospital?" Rove told a conference audience, according to Page Six, "And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what’s up with that.” A spokesperson for Clinton's team responded that her heath was "100 per cent. Period," adding, "Karl Rove has deceived the country for years, but there are no words for this level of lying."
Here's the back story, in case you've forgotten. Late in 2012, Clinton caught a bad case of the flu. The illness left her dehydrated, from which she fainted — just before the then Secretary of State was set to testify on the Benghazi attacks. The fall gave her a concussion. After spending a few days in the hospital for treatment (hardly the 30 that Rove suggested), doctors discovered a blood clot, for which she was also treated.
Soon after Clinton's opponents gave up suggesting that her fall and ensuing blood clot was a fake illness and a Benghazi cover-up, whispers swung in a different direction, suggesting that Clinton wasn't recovering as well as her team indicated. Clinton reportedly suffered no permanent damage from the fall — the blood clot was not a stroke — and was set for a full recovery. For a time, she wore glasses designed to correct lingering double vision from the fall. Eventually, Clinton gave her delayed testimony before the House committee.
Using the kinder term of "skeptics," the Daily Caller ran a feature on all the lingering "whispers" about Clinton's health in February, aimed at her 2016 campaign. That include's Roger Stone's speculation that Clinton won't run at all for president because of her health: "@HillaryClinton not running for health reasons," He tweeted, adding, "Remember you heard it first from the #StoneZone." As the Wire noted at the time, many expect Clinton's forthcoming memoir to shed a little more light on the presidential hopeful's health, given her public and relatively recent scare. But the sorts of rumors that Rove is channeling have more to do with taking down a political opponent than they do with evidence of a deeper problem.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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