‘Floundering’ Fetterman has Democrats fretting in Senate race vs. Dr. Oz

John Fetterman, a Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, is running for the U.S. Senate, but his stellar performance on the campaign trail has raised many questions about whether he’s a good fit to run for office — or even the House. They also serve in the upper chamber.

After Fetterman suffered a stroke a few days before the May primary, reporters were later told he had a pacemaker and a defibrillator fitted to address atrial fibrillation — a serious heart condition that had been diagnosed for years. Was done before but was not disclosed before running for lieutenant governor or senate. In a June statement, his doctor said he also had a serious heart condition called cardiomyopathy. Since then, none of the doctors on his current medical team have provided any details about the results of his stroke, despite frequent media requests for his medical records. On Thursday, his campaign confirmed he had taken two neurocognitive tests, one of which showed he scored 28 out of 30 — which is typical for people with at least a high school education.

Fetterman walks near his home in Braddock, PA, (above) to stay in shape. But his current doctors have failed to say whether the stroke he suffered in May will affect his race for the US Senate.
New York Post

Since returning to the campaign in mid-August, Fetterman has made brief appearances at a few events where he took no questions from reporters or audience members. He is largely dependent on himself Twitter account Around 800k followers to attract voters in his absence.

His stilted, sometimes confusing, comments on the programs he has attended have caused concern. At her most recent event on September 11, at a Planned Parenthood “Women for Women” rally, she struggled to make ends meet and fumbled her words, as she attacked her rival, celebrity TV doctor Mehmet Oz. Reprimanded for making fun of his health issues. ,

At his first event – ​​a rally in Erie on August 12 – he stumbled, paused or missed his nine-minute speech, much to the dismay of many in the audience.

“I knew he had health issues, I didn’t know to what extent they affected him,” said one voter at the event, who said he was from the city of Erie and a Democrat.

At a steelworkers rally in Pittsburgh a week later, Fetterman gave a four-minute speech and stumbled upon his words. “What’s wrong with demanding an easy, safe, their income,” he said. “Their way to a safe place to win…sorry…to work?”

Fetterman was campaigning in Greensburg, Pa., days before his stroke.  Ever since he returned to the campaign trail in August, his brief - and often paused - speeches have left many wondering whether he is a fit for future office.
Fetterman was campaigning in Greensburg, Pa., days before his stroke. Ever since he returned to the campaign trail in August, his brief – and often paused – speeches have left many wondering whether he is a fit for future office.
AP

On Labor Day, as he spoke for more than two minutes in the presence of President Biden at a rally for steelworkers in West Mifflin, he often stopped or backtracked and made no comment on policy. “I’m going to make it really simple for all of you,” he said, in a rift that was full of constant stumbles and awkward pauses, and ended with him confusing New Jersey with Washington DC.

“I can champion the Union way of life in Jersey. Excuse me… in DC.”

Fetterman with President Biden at a Labor Day event in early September.  Like Biden, Fetterman often stumbles upon his words and appears confused.
Fetterman with President Biden at a Labor Day event in early September. Like Biden, Fetterman often stumbles upon his speeches and confuses his words.
Reuters

Democrats who attended that speech said they were getting uncomfortable with Fetterman.

One Democrat told me, “Some intriguing, lovely tweets over and over again at the people of Pennsylvania, with hardly a word on real issues — if they can remember it all in their minds, it’s unacceptable.” “He thinks he can ride out the storm and not argue.

Fetterman as he leaves his home in Braddock, Pa., earlier this month.  After being regularly called for a debate by his rival Dr. Oz, he eventually agreed to have the same one-on-one on October 25 – weeks after early voting began.
Fetterman as he leaves his home in Braddock, Pa., earlier this month. After being regularly called for a debate by his rival Dr. Oz, he eventually agreed to the same one-on-one on October 25 – weeks after early voting began.
New York Post

Fetterman has yet to debate Oz once during his campaign, though on Wednesday he said he would face it on October 25 — more than a month after the September 19 deadline when voters cast mail-in ballots. Lets start.

On Monday, the editorial board of the left-leaning Washington Post also condemned their lack of transparency and willingness to debate early in the voting process. “Mr. Fetterman is asking voters for a six-year contract without giving them enough information as to whether or not he is ready for such a demanding job.” For full disclosure of health records, and we believe Mr. Fetterman should release his medical records for independent review. And before voters start casting their vote, they should argue with Mr. Oz.”

The Oz campaign has suggested that Fetterman used his strokes as an excuse to avoid arguments.  Fetterman hit back at the doctor for making fun of his health problems.
The Oz campaign has suggested that Fetterman used his strokes as an excuse to avoid arguments. Fetterman hit back at the doctor for making fun of his health problems.
Justin Merriman

Fetterman and his campaign staff have both stated that the candidate suffers from “auditory processing disorder.” According to Sarah Lantz, speech language pathologist at Maggie Rehabilitation, this condition makes it difficult for the brain to interpret what others say.

Fetterman clearly struggles with communicating with people, and needs to read people’s questions so he can process them. The New York Times, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and Politico have all noted that they require closed captioning to conduct interviews with their reporters. His campaign confirmed that he used Google Meet, a video chat app with closed captions, for a live televised interview with MSNBC this month.

Fetterman's team admitted they needed closed captioning when conducting this interview with MSNBC in early September.
Fetterman’s team admitted they needed closed captioning when conducting this interview with MSNBC in early September.

“I’m running a completely normal campaign,” Fetterman, 53, told the Times. “I keep getting better and better, and I’m living a completely normal life.” He said he walks several miles a day and is rapidly improving his hearing.

On Monday, Fetterman campaign spokesman Joe Calvello admitted to me that the candidate doesn’t write all of his own tweets. “He used to do it all himself but as the campaign has already become busy, he has some staff who do some tweets. But he still tweets a lot.”

When I asked Calvello for information about his medical condition, he did not respond.

Meanwhile, when the fatterman walks in parades or attends rallies, he is tightly surrounded by volunteers and staff, giving him the illusion of strong health and loving support, when, in fact, it gives him the impression of those journalists or outsiders. Saves him from those who try to ask him questions.

Crowds attend Fetterman's event in Philadelphia on September 11, where he struggles to finish his ideas and thwarts his words.
Crowds attend Fetterman’s event in Philadelphia on September 11, where he struggles to finish his ideas and thwarts his words.
James Keivom

Privacy is in keeping with the entire Fetterman campaign. His stroke became public just before the May primary, when he was not seen on the road for a few days. When pressed, the campaign admitted that he had been hospitalized with a stroke caused by a blood clot from his heart as a result of atrial fibrillation.

“The fact that even [Pennsylvania] Governor [Tom] Wolf didn’t know for two or three days that John Fetterman had declared the candor and transparency he had throughout his career,” said a Harrisburg-based Democrat who served at the state capitol for years. “It’s unfortunate that John isn’t clear from the start of his medical challenge, period.”

Although Fetterman is currently ahead of Oz by about seven percentage points, avoiding tough questions - and his rivals - could see him stumble in the final weeks of the campaign.
Although Fetterman is currently ahead of Oz by about seven percentage points, avoiding tough questions – and his rivals – could see him stumble in the final weeks of the campaign.
James Keivom

This is not the first time an elected official has faced questions about his health, said Chris Borick, a political science professor at Muhlenberg College.

“The late Governor Bob Casey Sr., a Democrat, had a liver and heart transplant. Arlene Spector, a Republican senator, had a brain aneurysm, Hodgkin’s disease, and a triple bypass — [and] they both consistently offer[ed] Updates from his doctors on his health,” he said.

“Ultimately, it’s important to have some clear verification on both one’s ability to run and their availability to the public,” he said.

Right now, in order to avoid tough questions, Fetterman is projecting an attractive image to the public—an image that could ultimately undermine his 6.5 percent lead in the polls.

The Harrisburg Democrat, for one, is concerned about his chances of victory: “I think his physical infirmities are such that he cannot successfully debate Oz.”

Source link