What medical conditions would affect a candidate’s fitness for office?

Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has acknowledged that she suffers from migraines, but insists they would have no effect on her performance in office. Today’s Question: What medical conditions would affect a candidate’s fitness for office?

  • John

    Migraines, caused by an obsession with the terrorist country of Israel.

  • Rich

    I wouldn’t wish her condition on anyone.

  • Max

    Paranoid schizophrenia – paranoia, delusions of granduer, feelings of persecution, believing that you are on a mission from god.

  • Zebulun

    Jefferson, among other historic figures, was reported to have suffered from terrible migraine headaches. Bachmann is no Jefferson, and there are plenty of more substantial questions to ask about her fitness for office.

  • barracuda

    @Max – but those are the things that lead most politicians to seek public office! 😉

    – certain severe mental illnesses – schizophrenia, for instance

    – any untreated life-threatening conditions, especially those with a short life expectancy

    – Alzheimer’s

    Beyond that, medical issues shouldn’t be a factor. I would vote for a wheelchair-bound candidate, or someone with Parkinson’s, or diabetes, or asthma, or depression – assuming these conditions are being treated.

    That being said, I might apply stricter criteria for presidential candidates than for congressional ones.

  • uptownZombie

    Any condition that impacted their mental capacity to do the job. Physical conditions, migraines included mean nothing in the grand scheme of things.

    Please drop this subject from the news; like Zebulun said, there are plenty of more substantial questions to ask about her fitness for office

    It’s amazing that people will even consider someone for the office of president that is currently stating that no matter what solution is agreed on regarding the budget right now, she WILL vote against it. A candidate for hate and non-compromise, that just sounds peachy, don’t it?

  • David

    In bachmann’s case I’m way more worried about her obvious psychological issues then headaches.

    But I think her headaches are a sign that the voices in her head want OUT! Even they have had enough of her delusional idiocy.

  • Diana

    As a representative from my district, I’ve been concerned by Bachmann’s number of absent votes on legislation. Yes we should be concerned with this pattern.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Anything the other party’s opposition research can dig up will be asserted to be a disqualification. Toenail fungus, irritable bowel, erectile dysfunction, whatever.

  • Sue de Nim

    Narcissistic personality disorder.

  • Dione

    According to former staff members, Bachmann missed votes on more than one

    occasion. They had to shut down the office and turn off the lights for hours. Why would we believe migraines wouldn’t effect her performance as president, when it is clear it did while she served as a state and U.S. representative.

    Any dementia would be a disqualifier.

  • Jim G

    Wasn’t Reagan suffering early symptoms of Alzheimer’s while still in office? See the book: My Father At 100 by Ron Reagan. His wife Nancy covered nicely for him. Also, wasn’t Woodrow Wilson incapacitated by a stroke and his spouse rumored to run the office of president before he died? So historically there is no condition that would affect a president’s fitness for office, so why should it affect a candidate’s? That means every voter should evaluate who they think would best represent their interests regardless of any physical condition. I say judge candidates on their integrity and accomplishments, or lack thereof.

  • linda

    Easch candidate would have to be evaluated individually. Migraine headaches would be the least of Bachmann’s negatives as far as my vote goes.

  • David

    Any republic nominee is really only going to be a puppet for the party, and a shill for the oil companies, defense industry, banking industry, etc. As long as she’s a good mouth piece for the party she’ll be just fine.

  • lucy

    Gosh, I don’t know, maybe while Missy is experiencing one of her bouts of migraine We, as a country, could have a mandatory “quiet time”

  • glenn

    This question brings to mind another question- meds to control the symptoms.

    Ms. B. has proved she doesn’t think straight ( pun intended!!) by her statements….however, during the Reagunz years we also proved that the guy on top needs the ability to sign his name…. and that’s all!

  • GaryF

    How many meds is Governor Dayton on?

    What’s his medical history? Think if affected his ability to govern?

    Of, yah, I forget, he’s a Democrat, so that’s not important.

  • GaryF

    Eric, Anna,

    Did you pose this question in the past when candidate Mark Dayton was discussing his mental illness?

    Or is it just important because its a Republican?

  • Annie

    I would be much more concerned if she were ignorant and hateful… oh wait…

  • NoRushtoJudgment

    I think this is an unfortunate question because it invites people to stereotype. People with the same diagnosis might experience a disease very differently–say multiple sclerosis or depression or hundreds of other diseases–and their capacity might be unaffected or greatly affected. It’s not fair to make assumptions based on a diagnosis.

  • bsimon

    I’d be reluctant to vote for someone with a neurological condition that caused them to hear voices and/or experience periodic bouts of extreme, debilitating pain.

  • barracuda
  • Steve the Cynic

    George Washington lost his teeth prematurely. Lincoln had clinical depression and Marfan’s syndrome. FDR needed a wheelchair. Those are arguably our three greatest presidents Maybe having some kind of infirmity should be a requirement for the office.

  • Kim

    Just because Gov. Dayton is diagnosed apparently with a mild form of Bi-POLAR disorder and has to take psychotropic medications to keep him from a manic episode with thought disturbance doesn’t mean he is always incompetent.

    No one asked about Barack’s college use of cocaine that he freely admitted to but maybe an addictive personality in the White House is NOT such a good thing.

    The media only asks the questions they are allowed to: e.g from the Blaze.com news:

    “Cenk Uygur hosted a prime-time show on the MSNBC after the Keith Olbermann firing resulted in a rearrangement of the prime time lineup. Uygur filled the 6 p.m. Eastern slot vacated by Ed Schultz since late January. In the video Uygur explains he turned down a significantly larger MSNBC contract for a much smaller role because he was told by the MSNBC president that the decision to remove him from primetime was due to political pressure from people in Washington who did not like his “tone” which was very critical of President Obama.”

    The media needs to wake up because everyone will be controlled and the First Amendment right will be controlled someday by the government at this rate unless the media stands strong and NOT like MNBC has done.

    The only reason the media is asking about Bachmann is because they are told to attack her to use the playbook of the Radicals to demonize and diminish their opponents with underhanded methods. Shameful that MPR would even ask this question of only a Republican conservative woman. What’s next? Ask if any female candidate is fit because they have their menses with headaches and cramps? Seriously_ ask yourself why only Bachmann is under the media attack.

    The earlier comment of uptownpeachy is a good example of this slam vs substance approach, just to demonize anyone that doesn’t agree with their view.

  • Philip

    Is there a pulse?

  • Steve the Cynic

    Kim, if you think “only” Michele Bachmann is under attack, you’re not paying attention. In the current political climate, to run for office is to be subject to bogus attacks. And the fact that an attack is bogus doesn’t necessarily mean the candidate is qualified for the office.

    The prevalence of bogus attacks on candidates is a real problem, too, because it’s discouraging some of the most qualified people from running.

  • uptownZombie

    uptownpeachy here.

    The earlier comment of uptownpeachy is a good example of this slam vs substance approach, just to demonize anyone that doesn’t agree with their view.

    If she had substance worth talking about I would talk about it.

    my comment was not as slam at her for being a woman, or for having a medical condition. My comment about her was specific to her commitment to not compromise at all. Someone with that standpoint, in my personal opinion, does not belong in office. However, there is obviously a lot of people that feel differently about that.

  • Brian D

    I would be very reluctant to vote for someone who is compulsively dishonest, homophobic, devoid of empathy, and claims to get her news from God.

  • James


    A big +1….. Well put!


  • Wildwood

    I’m not sure what you call the disease, but it’s

    the malady where every other time you open

    your mouth, a statement is made that flies in

    the face of the facts. It can be regarding historical misques or current reality, either

    way, it signals that something is really wrong.

    This disease is spread by attending strange

    rituals and sharing cups of tea.

    Note: listening to anyone who has this disease can cause severe migraine headaches.

  • lucy


    //My comment about her was specific to her commitment to not compromise at all. Someone with that standpoint, in my personal opinion, does not belong in office. However, there is obviously a lot of people that feel differently about that.

    I think the question today should be rephrased according to some of the comments made here today in this blog.

    A better question would be, “What would drive a person to seek a position in political leadership?”

    We all know that it should be to make a better living for all people (aka, the common good) regardless of political party, but somehow this part of the job seems to be the least thought about once they have acquired their position.

    So what is the real drive?

  • Gordon near Two Harbors

    It seems that we currently have huge numbers of politicians, at both the state and national level, who are chronically delusional. These folks deny facts based on scientific research, refuse to deal with the country’s fiscal crisis in a logical manner, and have no plan to deal with our dependence on foreign energy sources or unchecked immigration and population growth. And yet they are allowed to remain in office.

    There are probably only a few medical ailments that would cause a person to be less effective at governing than the clowns currently in office.

  • David

    Kim, are you the pot or the kettle?

  • Dr. No

    All of them.

  • PragmaticLibertarian

    If the question is what would affect their fitness for office then all conditions would. If the question is what would disqualify them from serving then I would say none would as long as they can show that they can think clearly. If a poor political decision due to a medical condition hurts the public at large then it is directly because government has become too powerful. Government decisions should simply not affect our lives that much that one person can gum up the works so easily as is being suggested by raising the question.