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NOW Can We Talk About Clinton's Health?

For weeks we've been hearing the same refrain from most of the press -- "Nothing to see here....Move along, move along..." -- when it came to questions about Hillary Clinton's health.

Perhaps the most vociferous critic of the Clinton ill-health pundits was the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza, who penned a column last week chastising anyone who questioned the candidate's physical fitness for office.

This is a totally ridiculous issue — for lots of reasons — and one that if Trump or his Republican surrogates continue to focus on is a surefire loser in the fall.

Let's start here: Clinton has released a detailed letter from her personal physicianattesting 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.

That seems, um, unlikely to me?

What about now, Chris?

Whether Clinton likes it or not, her "overheating" episode comes at a very bad time for her campaign. Thanks to the likes of Rudy Giuliani and a small but vocal element of the Republican base, talk of her health had been bubbling over the past week —triggered by a coughing episode she experienced during a Labor Day rally.

That talk was largely confined to Republicans convinced that Clinton has long been hiding some sort of serious illness. I wrote dismissively of that conspiracy theory in this space last week, noting that Clinton had been given an entirely clean bill of health by her doctors after an episode in which she fainted, suffered a concussion and then was found to have a blood clot in late 2012 and early 2013.

Coughing, I wrote, is simply not evidence enough of any sort of major illness that Clinton is assumed to be hiding. Neither, of course, is feeling "overheated." But those two things happening within six days of each other to a candidate who is 68 years old makes talk of Clinton's health no longer just the stuff of conspiracy theorists.

Note that Cillizza is still downplaying the notion that anything may be wrong by swallowing the notion that she was "overheated" on a day with the temperature in the mid-to-upper 70s and low humidity.