Friday, July 22, 2011
I've been plagued with migraines for years. So when The Daily Caller reported that GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann has had severe migraines, it took my colleagues but minutes to propose that I write on the controversy.
I resisted, but this story is a big talker. I've got a personal angle. I'm a columnist. What else could I do?
Some people get migraines. Some people give them. We, the chosen few, do both.
According to The Daily Caller's anonymous sources, the Republican congresswoman from Minnesota takes medication to control her migraines -- which, she confirms, sometimes have been "incapacitating" and which her campaign denies. The unnamed sources leaked the story, they said, because they worry that Bachmann's migraines could affect her performance in office, as well as present a winning opposition issue for President Barack Obama if she were to garner the GOP nomination.
Do they have a point? I suppose. I've had days when I was in so much pain that I could not write. I wouldn't trust myself to pilot a plane.
Then again, with or without a migraine, I would have trouble keeping up with Bachmann's nonstop schedule.
This controversy takes care of itself. Bachmann faces months under the pressure cooker of high-stakes hardball presidential politics -- the mother of all migraine triggers. She's at a disadvantage. When you're running for president, you can't ask town hall sponsors to turn down the bright lights and ask participants to speak really softly.
If she can tough out the campaign despite the headaches, then she can tough out a lot. If she can't, then she loses.
Me? I am more concerned about Bachmann's promise to vote against any bill that would raise the debt ceiling. Congress bought the car years ago and put some miles on it; now Bachmann argues that it is moral to avoid the car payments. That's what scares me.
Meanwhile, this brouhaha could win Bachmann, if not support, at least sympathy. Women are likelier to get migraines than men. Many women develop migraines as they approach perimenopause. (Bachmann's doctor son said that his 55-year-old mother started getting migraines 15 years ago.) Do not think that women will read the anonymous leakers' fears about Bachmann buckling under the stress and not smell a rat -- and not just because rogue smells can be another migraine symptom.
Remember that old argument that a woman could not be president because she would have trouble keeping her cool during "that time of the month"? Brace yourself. In this election cycle, that mothballed idea has morphed into migraines and menopause.
The old menstrual cycle argument was based on the notion that women are too emotional for high office but that men do not lose their cool. (It helps if you don't know any men.) Now comes the migraine argument, used by former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, also a GOP White House hopeful. He told reporters, "There's no real time off in that job."
Apparently, Western civilization would crumble if a female president spent an afternoon on a couch with a cold washcloth on her forehead, because then she wouldn't be able to play golf, pose for a photo opportunity or campaign for re-election like your usual president.
Oh, and, Gov. Pawlenty, if you're worried about a candidate's not being able to govern 24/7, don't play hockey.
COPYRIGHT 2011 CREATORS.COM
See Other Political Commentary
See Other Commentary by Debra J. Saunders
Views expressed in this column are those of the author, not those of Rasmussen Reports. Comments about this content should be directed to the author or syndicate.
Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.
We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.
Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $3.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.