Hillary Clinton and the Streisand Effect
It was the collapse that launched a thousand conspiracy theories, as Hillary Clinton stumbled and was quickly bundled into a waiting car at the 9/11 memorial ceremony last Sunday. Hillary’s team were forced to admit she had been diagnosed with pneumonia, after spending the week coughing and spluttering her way through speeches and rallies. This was after they initially blamed the humid conditions, saying Hillary had just “overheated”. With a litany of excuses for Hillary’s condition, she has just become the latest victim of the infamous Streisand Effect which may hurt her campaign more than a bout of pneumonia.
Named after the Funny Girl star, the Streisand Effect was the name born after Barbara Streisand made a song and dance about a California Coastal Records project taking aerial photos of the region of her Malibu home. Not surprisingly it was her protests that drew more public attention to its whereabouts than anything else.
The media coverage around this Hillary “overheating” episode demonstrates that Presidential candidates have to be transparent about their health status, and are obliged to disclose their medical records, especially where the issue is whether that person is fit and healthy enough to discharge the very onerous job as President of the US of A.
Hillary’s media takedown by her political opponents includes whisperings of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and atrial fibrillation, and even preposterous claims she is using a body double.
President Obama has had many a bumpy ride with the media, but it is hard to dispute his likeability. In comparison to Trump and Hillary, Obama has willingly shown his human side- he cries at the things us mortals cry at (mindless gun related tragedies), he dances with his wife, and he plays ball with his dog Bo. It is this authenticity that America craves, or at least the perception of being authentic, which in itself is an art.
Perhaps Hillary needs to consider past Presidents who were weighed down with various disabilities, but were still lauded for their visions. Franklin D. Roosevelt won a record four Presidential elections, but he was also the first President with a significant physical disability having being diagnosed with polio at the age of 39. JFK’s back pain was widely documented, yet he will always be remembered as a brilliant leader in the hearts of Americans everywhere. Reagan was the oldest man to seek the Presidency and was considered by some to be medically unfit for the position, having constantly struggled with poor health, yet he was considered one of America’s most successful modern-day Presidents.
By drip feeding the public with weak excuses about her health issues, Hillary Clinton’s advisors are only fuelling the Chinese whispers smearing her campaign. Hillary needs to recognise that in the Presidential race, you can win votes by bearing your soul to the public, and revealing the real you, rather than trying to peddle a cookie-cutter meets superhero version.