US 2016 ELECTIONS

Barack, Bill stand in for convalescing Hillary Clinton

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: Hillary Clinton returns to the White House campaign fray after a few days at home recovering from pneumonia in a health scare that rocked her bid to become America’s first woman president.

The Democratic nominee’s spokesman Nick Merrill said in a statement late Tuesday that Clinton spent time at home “catching up on reading briefings, making calls,” and watching Barack Obama’s rousing speech in Philadelphia, in which the president offered unstinting praise of his former secretary of state.

The former first lady has just suffered perhaps the worst week of her 15-month quest to become the first female US president.

She was forced to leave a 9/11 memorial event in New York on Sunday and was seen stumbling limp-legged into a Secret Service vehicle. Clinton’s campaign initially said she had been suffering the ill effects of dehydration and “overheating.”


The 68-year-old since then has been sidelined from the campaign trail by a bout of pneumonia—an illness diagnosed Friday, before the 9/11 event, that has raised broader questions about her health.

The news on the political front has scarcely been better than Clinton’s medical revelations.

On Friday, she sparked a firestorm when she called half of Trump’s supporters “deplorables.” And despite leading in the polls, she remains deeply disliked by a big chunk of the electorate.

Clinton’s stumble—captured on amateur video and seen by countless millions online and on television—gave her Republican rival Donald Trump, 70, a new opening to question the former top diplomat’s fitness for the nation’s highest office as the race intensifies.

“While my opponent slanders you as deplorable and irredeemable, I call you hardworking American patriots who love your country and want a better future for all of our people,” Trump said in Iowa.

Obama, meanwhile, made his 2016 solo debut in support of Hillary Clinton, hitting out at “unfair” criticism of the Democratic presidential nominee.

After an extremely rough few days for Clinton, Obama used a fiery appearance before a crowd of 6,000 in Philadelphia to try to turn the tables on Donald Trump.

Obama insisted that Clinton had “been subjected to more scrutiny and … more unfair criticism than anybody out here,” while accusing the media of giving her Republican opponent a pass.

“Donald Trump says stuff everyday that used to be considered as disqualifying for being president. And yet because he says it over and over and over again, the press just gives up,” Obama said.

While on the mend at home, Clinton had to relinquish campaign trail duties to her husband, former president Bill Clinton, and Obama.

Obama spoke in Philadelphia, a pivotal city in deciding the presidential contest in Pennsylvania, seen as a must-win state for Trump on November 8.

Clinton’s husband Bill takes over for her in California, attending a fundraiser in Los Angeles, and campaigning Wednesday in Las Vegas.

The race there could come down to whether the coalition of voters that helped carry Obama to victory nearly eight years ago—young people, Hispanics and African Americans—turns out in force.

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