The good news for Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign is the Tea Party favorite is now taken seriously enough that major news organizations are ready to ask questions about her fitness to be commander-in-chief. The bad news is she must now account for every health problem–large and small–in her medical history. That’s the only way to understand the sudden interest in Bachmann’s history of migraine headaches, which is the focus of a story in the Daily Caller today.
According to the Caller, Bachmann gets “terrible migraine headaches” that “put her out of commission for a day or more at a time.” According to a former campaign adviser who spoke anonymously, this raises the possibility that “she won’t be equal to the stress of the campaign, much less the presidency itself.”
It’s hard to know just how seriously to take a story like this. If Bachmann is the victim of chronic migraines which cause her to be out of commission for days at a time on a regular basis then that would reflect on her ability to lead the nation, especially at times of crisis. But it’s not clear her problem is that serious. Even the Caller’s story, which spoke of her becoming ill and having to seek attention at an urgent care center during a trip to Los Angeles, noted she had still managed to keep to her schedule and gave speeches while there. Bachmann’s spokeswoman told the Caller the candidate takes medication for her problem, and it is under control.
That is probably as far as this will go unless she falls ill in the upcoming months and starts canceling events. If, as the anonymous and possibly disgruntled former adviser is correct that she becomes “incapacitated” on a regular basis, we will find out soon enough on the campaign trail where secrets such as this cannot be kept. But if not, this attention given to what may be a minor health problem is just more evidence the Bachmann boomlet is being taken far more seriously than anyone could have imagined just a few months ago. After all, no one is asking questions about the health of candidates who have no chance of winning.