Clinton faints delivering speech

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) fainted yesterday while delivering a speech on Social Security before a Buffalo women’s group. Clinton, 57, stopped midspeech to remove an extra layer of clothing and sit down, said Susan Grelick, a local elected official who was at the event.
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) fainted yesterday while delivering a speech on Social Security before a Buffalo women’s group.

Clinton, 57, stopped midspeech to remove an extra layer of clothing and sit down, said Susan Grelick, a local elected official who was at the event.
“Then she went in the back, and she came out and she proceeded to talk about Social Security,” Grelick said. “She was very coherent, like she always is. She had energy; she always has a high energy level. … And she said, ‘You know, I really can’t proceed.’
Patrick G. Ryan
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.)

She said, ‘I guarantee a rain check.’ And she started to faint, and her staffers grabbed her and put her down on the chair. It was an instant. It was only an instant.”

The event was hosted by the Women’s TAP Fund. TAP stands for Taking Action in Politics. Grelick called the group nonpartisan, adding that it helps women who support abortion rights get elected.

Clinton’s office posted a brief notice yesterday afternoon about the senator’s fainting episode. Philippe Reines, a spokesman for the senator, refused to answer further questions about the incident, directing all inquiries to the senator’s website.

Elected officials’ health has had political implications in the past. In early 1992, the first President Bush suffered a public-relations blow when he threw up on the Japanese prime minister. Vice President Cheney has been dogged since running for office in 2000 by questions about his heart; he has had several heart attacks.

Clinton is expected to seek a second term in 2006 and is considered by many in her party to be a strong contender for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, underwent heart bypass surgery last year.