Hillary Clinton's doctor says she's physically fit to serve as president, according to a letter released by her campaign Friday, as part of a massive set of disclosures intended to contrast favorably with the transparency efforts of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Later Friday, the campaign will release tax returns covering the years 2007 through 2014 for Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, as well as itemized lists of previously undisclosed business and speech income the couple earned, according to a campaign official.
Clinton's doctor, Lisa Bardack, observed that the former secretary of state's medical conditions include hypothyroidism and seasonal allergies. Her symptoms from a 2012 concussion and a blood clot have since cleared up, Bardack wrote.
From a political standpoint, there are three important things to note about the disclosures:
- Clinton's releases are meant to blunt criticism from a leading Republican rival for the presidency as she seeks the Democratic nomination. Bush has been using the release of his tax returns and unitemized speech and business income to portray himself as more transparent than Clinton. Her campaign will now argue that she's the one who has put the most relevant information in the public domain.
- It's a drown-the-media strategy. Clinton's records are being released all at once on the same day the State Department has been ordered to publish another batch of emails from her time as secretary, and two Super PACs that support her candidacy, Priorities USA and American Bridge, are due to file donor reports with the Federal Election Commission.
- It will be harder for Clinton's adversaries to portray her as old or infirm given that she has a clean bill of health and is the only major candidate to have publicly disclosed a recent medical evaluation.
It's no small thing that Clinton's fit as a fiddle
Part of the early Republican strategy to soften up Clinton before the campaign was to portray her as too old and brittle for the presidency. Karl Rove, the political strategist behind George W. Bush's rise to the presidency, wondered aloud if she had suffered a brain injury after she fell in her home in late 2012 and suffered a concussion. She was later found to have a blood clot near her brain, a condition for which she was treated.
Of course, anyone who's watched Clinton on her book tour and during the first few months of the campaign can attest she's showing no ill effects. Now she's got a doctor's note to prove it.
For those interested in such things, the letter reveals that Clinton takes Armour Thyroid to treat the thyroid condition, vitamin B12, and Coumadin, which is designed to prevent new blood clots from forming. Oh, and her exercise regimen includes yoga, weight-training, swimming, and walking.