- - Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Democrats’ feigned outrage over anyone raising the issue of Hillary Clinton’s health and Newt Gingrich’s foolish agreement with them is sheer hypocrisy (“Why Hillary Clinton’s health matters,” Web, May 25).

Ever since a dying President Roosevelt was re-elected in 1944 only to expire less than three months into his fourth term, the health of presidential candidates has been a valid issue. In 1956, Democrat Adlai Stevenson made President Eisenhower’s health a key issue in his campaign, without any criticism from his fellow Democrats. However, Stevenson turned out to be mistaken, because Eisenhower, with his soldierly discipline, outlived Stevenson by four years.

Had voters known the seriousness of John F. Kennedy’s Addison’s disease in 1960, it’s unlikely they would have elected or even nominated him. In 1972, Sen. George McGovern dumped vice-presidential candidate Sen. Tom Eagleton when it was learned that Eagleton had undergone electroshock therapy. Most recently, in 1988, Paul Tsongas and his doctors misled voters about a recurrence of Tsongas’ lymphoma. Had Tsongas been elected president, he would have died in office.

Robert Ferrell has written extensively on this subject. He recommends that all presidential candidates be examined by an independent panel of physicians who are not bound by doctor-patient privilege. It’s time we accepted his recommendation and took the demagoguery out of this issue.



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