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The Health Tell - Dilbert Blog

The Health Tell

I have blogged and tweeted that Hillary Clinton looks unhealthy to me. And I have mentioned on Twitter that one of the skills of a hypnotist is identifying subtle bodily changes. Observation is a huge part of a hypnotist’s skill. You look for micro changes in muscle tone, breathing, posture, and anything else that can tell you whether your technique is working or you need to quickly pivot to a new approach. Think of it as rapid A-B testing on humans. And like any skill, one gets better with practice. I have more than three decades of practice for this specific skill. 

What I see in Clinton’s health is an unusual level of variability. Sometimes her eyes bug out, sometimes they are tired and baggy. Sometimes she looks puffy, sometimes not. It would be easy to assume fatigue is the important variable. And that is clearly a big factor. But notice that the other candidates have little variability in their physicality. Trump always looks like Trump. Cruz always looks like Cruz, and so on. Sometimes we think we can detect fatigue in their answers, but visually the other candidates appear about the same every day.

Clinton, on the other hand, looks like an entirely different person every few days. That suggests some greater variability in her health. And that’s probably a tell for medications that are waxing and waning but rarely at the ideal levels. Or perhaps the underlying conditions have normal variability. Or both.

Under normal circumstances it would be deeply irresponsible for a cartoonist to give a medical diagnosis to a stranger he hasn’t met. I trust you to ignore my medical opinions. I do this to build a record of my persuasion-related predictions and to show you the method. 

I give Clinton a 50% chance of making it to November with sufficiently good health to be considered a viable president. Judging from her performance on the campaign trail, she is managing her health effectively to get the job done. But I would think most people who run for president end up sacrificing their health in some measure. The big question is how much buffer she has left.