The last time America elected a sick person as president was in 1944

911-des-plainesBy John Ruberry

This morning Hillary Clinton suffered what is being called a medical episode in lower Manhattan where she may have fainted, but she certainly had to be helped into a van by campaign aides as her knees wobbled, as you’ll see in a video. She’s was in New York to attend a Ground Zero 9/11 memorial service.

The Clinton campaign claims that the Democratic nominee was “overheated,” but so far there are no reports of anyone else among the thousands in attendance at the somber event being overcome by heat. Temperatures were in the late 70s in New York this morning. Today’s incident comes just six days after a four-minute long coughing spell during a Labor Day speech in Cleveland by Clinton, followed by a shorter one on her campaign jet, which the campaign blithely brushed off as related to allergies. Even hardened liberal Chris Cilizza of the Washington Post says that questions about Hillary’s health are legitimate ones, not just fodder for conservative conspiracy theorists.

wallace-road
Henry Wallace was pushed aside for Truman

It’s been said that Clinton is the most dishonest person to be a major party nominee since Richard M. Nixon. It’s now fair to say that she’s the unhealthiest one to run as a major party choice since another New York state Democrat, Franklin D. Roosevelt, won his his unprecedented fourth-straight presidential election in 1944.

Party bosses knew that FDR was sick in ’44, and fears that Russia-loving leftist Henry A. Wallace, his vice president, could succeed FDR as president was the primary reason Democratic leaders convinced him to dump Wallace as his running mate for Harry S. Truman. The press was rabidly pro-Democrat–sound familiar?–and it had for years covered up that Roosevelt was unable to walk, so it of course assisted in obscuring the president’s newer health concerns. But the what we now call the media didn’t convince everyone. So FDR was compelled to strenuously campaign in the autumn of that year–while of course America was at war–which likely further weakened him.

And how sick was Roosevelt?

In World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis, and the West, Lawrence Rees wrote in 2009 about Roosevelt’s health at the Yalta Conference in 1945:

Much has been written about Roosevelt’s physical state at the conference. Those who worked closely with him, like George Elsey, had noticed a profound deterioration of the president’s health over the previous months, and Churchill had remarked on how sick Roosevelt looked at the Quebec meeting in September. At Yalta, Lord Moran, Churchill’s doctor, recorded: “Everyone seemed to agree that the president had gone to bits physically…I doubt, from what I have seen, whether he is fit for his job here.”

John "Lee" Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

Roosevelt was clearly duped by Joseph Stalin at Yalta, where he handed eastern Europe to the communists, including Poland, for whom Great Britain and France went to war after the weaker nation was invaded by the Nazis, which of course is how World War II began.

Do we want another ill–or yes, I’m going to say it–dying president to be swindled by another Russian leader? Or by Iran? (Of course, that is what happened with a presumably much healthier Barack Obama.) Or by anyone?

Roosevelt, as we all know, died three months after being sworn-in as president for the fourth time.

Oh, yes, I’m aware the John F. Kennedy had Addison’s disease, which was hidden from the public, but he had suffered from the ailment since the 1940s. His sister, Eunice, also had Addision’s, she died at 88. JFK’s health problems were partially attributed to his abuse of prescription drugs.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.