Public Fainting Has Dems Talking About a Hillary Replacement

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Hillary Clinton was caught fainting on camera Sunday morning, her knees buckling as her Secret Service detail dragged her into a van, leaving one of her shoes behind on the street. Clinton was driven to her daughter Chelsea’s nearby apartment and emerged 90 minutes later to wave at gathered supporters and several members of the press.

“I’m feeling great,” Clinton said as she posed for pictures with a little girl. “It’s a beautiful day in New York.”

That little girl’s parents were probably not pleased when they heard from Clinton’s doctor, who released a statement Sunday evening confirming that the Democratic nominee was suffering from pneumonia.

“Secretary Clinton has been experiencing a cough related to allergies,” said Dr. Lisa Bardack. On Friday, Bardack said, this cough led her to diagnose Clinton with pneumonia and prescribe antibiotics. “At this morning’s event, she became overheated and dehydrated.”

The episode will have a dramatic impact on the tenor of this week’s news cycle. After weeks of claiming that Republicans were inventing conspiracy theories about Clinton’s health, Hillary’s campaign now has no choice but to admit that there is something wrong. And while neither allergies nor pneumonia (nor, even, a fainting spell) are necessarily reasons to fear for a presidential candidate’s long-term health, there is significant cause to wonder why Hillary has been trying to cover up her illness so desperately. That has led many to question whether or not “pneumonia and allergies” is the full extent of what ails her.

Among those asking the questions – the Democratic National Committee. MSNBC reporter David Shuster said Sunday that the DNC was deliberating their options, including the possibility of replacing Hillary at the top of the ticket. ABC pundit Cokie Roberts said that Democrats were chewing their fingernails about the Secretary’s health.

“The fact that it comes now when the polls are tightening and Democrats are already saying that Hillary was the only candidate who could not beat Trump and it is taking her off the campaign trail, canceling her trip to California – it has them very nervously beginning to whisper about having her step aside and finding another candidate,” Roberts said on Monday.

What form that other candidate would take is anyone’s guess. Possibilities include VP Joe Biden, runner-up Bernie Sanders, and Hillary’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine. Of the three, Biden would seem the most likely alternative, if he’s still interested in the job.

The safe bet is that Hillary will remain in the race, but one thing is certain: Questions about her health are now absolutely fair game.