Remember When We Had A Terminally Ill Person Running For President?

Democratic presidential candidate Paul Tsongas relaxes while en route from Nashville, Tenn. to Miami, Fla., while campaigning March 8, 1992. Tsongas will spend the following day in Florida where the primary election is a day later. (AP Photo/Greg Gibson)

Hillary Clinton’s health has belatedly gathered the media interest it deserves. After weeks of trying to tamp down the story, now it is finally being treated as a legitimate issue. The spin that accompanied the denial is best typified in a Washington Post story last week by Chris Cillizza:

Let’s start here: Clinton has released a detailed letter from her personal physician attesting to her overall good health — and making specific reference to her 2012 fall. Here’s the key passage:

So, to believe that something is seriously wrong with Clinton, you have to a) assume her doctor lied and b) that her coughing, which often happens when someone catches a cold or spends a lot of time speaking publicly, is a symptom of her deeper, hidden illness.

My initial thought was, gee, no one associated with the Clintons could ever be thought to be lying. But the National Review’s Jim Geraghty presented interesting proof that not only could Hillary Clinton’s doctor be lying but we should probably expect for that to be the case:

You may recall that one of Bill Clinton’s rivals in the primary that year was Senator Paul Tsongas. God rest his soul, but Tsongas and his doctors lied through their teeth:

When Tsongas ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination the 1992 presidential campaign, he made an issue of his survival from a form of cancer known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. But Tsongas and his doctors at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Ronald W. Takvorian and George P. Canellos, repeatedly said he had been cancer-free when he had not. In so doing, they implied that the cancer was cured when indeed it was not curable.

Tsongas died in 1997. If he had been nominated and elected, he would not have completed his term. After 1993, he fought lymphoma again, spent much of the next four years in hospitals, eventually had an operation to deal with liver and heart problems that were complications of his cancer therapy. The surgery worked, but he passed away in the hospital . . . from pneumonia.

Why is it less likely that Hillary Clinton, am out and proud serial liar, and her doctor are lying about Hillary Clinton’s health than it was for a man who was generally regarded as honest and decent and his two doctors to lie about the fact that he was terminally ill as he campaigned for the Democrat nomination to be president?