Niagara Gazette

Local News

December 31, 2012

Clinton remains hospitalized with blood clot

Niagara Gazette — WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spent a second day at a New York hospital on Monday, under observation for a blood clot, stemming from a concussion she sustained while battling a stomach virus.

The illness has kept her out of the public view since Dec. 7, and has started to raise a host of questions as her team keeps typically tightlipped about the details: Where is the clot located? How severe is her condition? How soon will she recover? And, as Democrats are privately if not publicly speculating, how might her illness affect a decision about running for president in 2016?

Aides disclosed the blood clot Sunday, with her spokesman, Phillipe Reines, issuing a statement that said: "Her doctors will continue to assess her condition, including other issues associated with her concussion." He had no immediate update Monday on her condition, raising the question of whether she will return to work before she steps down as secretary of state.

After decades in politics, Clinton, 65, says she plans to spend the next year resting. She has long insisted she had no intention of mounting a second campaign for the White House four years from now. But the door is not entirely closed, and she would almost certainly emerge as the Democrat to beat if she decided to give in to calls by Democratic fans and run again.

Her age — and thereby health — would likely be a factor under consideration, given that Clinton would be 69 when sworn in, if she were elected in 2016. That might become even more of an issue in the early jockeying for 2016 if what started as a bad stomach bug becomes a prolonged, public bout with more serious infirmity.

Not that Democrats are willing to talk openly about the political implications of a long illness, choosing to keep any discussions about her condition behind closed doors. Publicly, Democrats reject the notion that a blood clot could hinder her political prospects.

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