Hillary Clinton’s most prominent Irish American supporters remain convinced that she’s the one to beat on Election Day despite her weekend health emergency at the September 11 memorial event in New York, and the subsequent revelation by her campaign that she has pneumonia.
Her detractors have had a field day, gleefully claiming on talk radio that Clinton is suffering from end-stage Parkinson’s Disease among other ailments, but Team Clinton is staying squarely focused on victory come November 8.
“She’s fine, totally fine. She’s held to such a high standard in terms of transparency, unlike her opponent,” Congressman Joe Crowley, who was with Clinton at the 9/11 event on Sunday before she took ill, told the Irish Voice.
“My 11-year-old could have written a better letter than the one released by Donald Trump’s doctor,” Crowley said about a letter the Trump campaign released last month in which the 70-year-old’s doctor said he would be the “healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency” should he win.
Crowley noticed nothing amiss when he met Clinton on Sunday morning. “She was in great form, asking me about my family, chatting away. I was taking pictures of her with the 9/11 families,” Crowley recalled.
“I don’t care what anyone says, it was very, very hot there. We were sweating. When she left I felt I could leave too and I was relieved because it was uncomfortable.
“She’s a human being, just like the rest of us. She gets colds, coughs – so do we all. She will rest up and she will be just fine.”
Clinton, Crowley pointed out, has attended 9/11 memorial events every year. “It’s not her first time, but where has Donald Trump been? I’ve never seen him attend these events year after year. She knew how important Sunday was and that’s why she came. It’s personal for her,” he said.
“The other guy – where is he to be found? Where is anything about him to be found, like his tax returns? Who is demanding transparency from him?”
Clinton, Crowley says, will make a “magnificent” president. “There really is no question about it,” he added.
Brian O’Dwyer, a partner at O’Dwyer and Bernstien in New York and one of Clinton’s long-time top supporters and fundraisers, agrees.
“I feel very satisfied with the campaign and I’m not worried about her health at all,” O’Dwyer told the Irish Voice.
“I am very confident that she will pull out a victory. Name a state that Obama won last time that Hillary won’t win this time?”
Sunday’s events surrounding Clinton’s health “probably could have been handled better by the campaign,” O’Dwyer said, “and they said that themselves. But Hillary is incredibly strong and robust, and she’s a great campaigner.”
O’Dwyer says that he’s confident Clinton’s ground game in the swing states will propel her to victory. “They are registering an unusually high number of voters in the swing states. Trump doesn’t have that kind of organization at all.”
The race for the White House, O’Dwyer says, has been “nutty” and will call for a period of introspection by both parties after all is said and done.
“We need to come together as a country, and we need to try again to make it work better for everybody,” says O’Dwyer, who is organizing events with the Clinton campaign in North Carolina, Ohio and Florida in the weeks ahead.
“Hillary, I firmly believe, is the person who can bring us together and get things done, such as fixing the immigration system, which right now doesn’t work for anyone.”
Stella O’Leary, founder and president of the Irish American Democrats lobbying group, says there’s “nothing at all to worry about” over Clinton’s health.
“I am very confident about that,” says O’Leary, who has been close to Bill and Hillary Clinton for decades.
“I think her pneumonia makes her more relatable to people,” O’Leary adds. “Illnesses are things that we all have to deal with from time to time. And she’s no different.”
Staying quiet about the diagnosis from her doctor “was understandable,” says O’Leary, “because of the way everything she says is so scrutinized. She just can’t win sometimes.”
O’Leary has campaigned side by side with Clinton for years, and says she’s “constantly amazed” at the stamina she shows.
“She just keeps going. She never seems to tire of it. And for sure, she’ll be the same when she wins the White House.”