Another Doc Weighs In

July 20, 2011 5:43 p.m.

TPM Reader CL:

I am a neurologist at an academic medical center quite familiar with migraines. I think in general, most people would accept that a propensity to migraine should not disqualify one from being President. Readers of your site will all appreciate Rep. Bachmann has far more legitimate reasons to disqualify her.

Most people with migraine do very well, can avoid their triggers, and can take medications to limit the scope of a headache if one is coming on. We certainly see some people with very debilitating headaches, but this is not typical.

Stress can be a trigger, and a national campaign would be a good trial run to test how one performs under stress, particularly since she apparently does not think of the Presidency as a job where difficult decisions or compromise need worry anyone. I would say someone needs to describe a more specific instance where she was debilitated from a migraine and it mattered, before this should get any more scrutiny. I mean, it’s not like it’s a birth certificate or anything. …

I also don’t think this is a sexist attack, though hearing it was raised from Pawlenty made me think about this a little more. This is a counter-attack she could bring up against any attack from the rest of the GOP field. I mean saying she’s hysterical is sexist, too, if you consider the origin of the word hysterical. It seems to strike me as an indication of how desperate Pawlenty is. Maybe he will hit Romney next for alleged high cholesterol, and the dangerous risks of statin drugs.

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