Well, the cat is out of the bag. Hillary Clinton has the flu! Quick, grab your children, grab your meds and head for the closest exit before she gets a chance to hug you.
Australians have been most bemused by the coverage of the U.S. Democratic candidate’s flu diagnosis this week. Headlines such as “Clinton collapse raises new fears about fitness for Oval Office” and “Hillary Clinton’s pneumonia diagnosis raises worries for Democrats” illustrates just how much pundits equate political competency with health.
Image source: ABC News.
And we're not talking about the 'glow-in-the-face, run for 5km a day and drink kale smoothies' kind of health. We're talking about the 'never get sick despite a gruelling schedule, multiple time-zones and being exposed to hundreds of strangers every day' kind of sick. Hands up if you've never gotten the flu? PUHH LEASE.
Americans have a strange fascination with virility in their political leaders. Consider the case of George Bush senior, who contracted an unfortunate case of gastro in Japan in 1992. Not only did he collapse during a banquet given in his honour, he also vomited on the Prime Minister Miyazawa Kiichi before being rushed out. The media was gaga all over that one for days.
Image source: The Times
There is however, one Australian who will know exactly what Mrs Clinton is going through, and that is our very own Prime Minister. Malcolm Turnbull, himself suffered from the common flu bug during his campaign trail this year in June, and boy... did he look sick. He even subjected himself to Tony Jones on Q & A, and his replies were nasally to say the least. We felt so sorry for him that Fairfax even reported that he should have taken a sick day and "rug up in bed with chicken soup and a wheat bag."
I imagine Mr Turnbull's 'get well' note went something like this:
I heard you were crook and wanted to send you a message of support. Being sick on the campaign trail is a real kick in the balls.
I was ill on the campaign trail earlier this year, and seeing that footage of you buckling at the knees brought back some crazy flashbacks. There's no remedy that I can recommend to you that Twitter hasn't already offered.