Richard Connor: There’s farce, and then there’s politics in 2016

Hillary can’t breathe

Trump can still seethe

Tripping up seems her fate

Donald’s doc says he’s overweight

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I could on and on. Rhyme after rhyme. It wouldn’t be any sillier than the farcical presidential campaign we are watching. But in the name of gender equality and basic fairness: Both candidates appear overweight.

This election will be known in history as the lesser of two evils, or is it now three?

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson’s worst mistake wasn’t his blunder on Aleppo, the Syrian city most under siege in that country’s civil war, but merely opening his mouth. The former governor of New Mexico often makes no sense but at least he has a better excuse than either Clinton or Trump. He readily admits to frequent marijuana use.

So if he makes one of the presidential debates, they can skip the familiar question: “Have you ever used marijuana?”

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If they ask, his answer might be: “Not since yesterday.”

In the annals of politics, just in recent years, there is no need to wonder if a lunatic can be elected to high office. Just look at Minnesota and Jesse Ventura or Johnson in New Mexico or Maine’s Paul LePage.

At this point, with only about seven weeks until the election, it appears Trump and Clinton have virtually equal chances of being elected. The outcome is far from clear with polls showing an ever-tightening race.

What is clear is this: We live in a time when media scrutiny is so intense and comprehensive we will have the chance to see these candidates warts and all – and given the recent focus on their health, we really are talking about warts and all.

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It is a profound change in the public perception of candidates for any office.

In September 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower was felled by a massive heart attack while vacationing with relatives in Denver. It was several days before the heart attack was even reported to the public. Eisenhower reportedly did not even walk until almost a month later.

And, by most accounts, Vice President Richard Nixon ran the country for several weeks.

We can be all but certain that Hillary Clinton stumbling into a car after being felled by exhaustion and/or dehydration from pneumonia will not be the last or most unsettling photograph or story about the candidates.

Perhaps the winner will simply be the last man or woman standing – either literally or figuratively.

Richard Connor is president and publisher of the Fort Worth Business Press. Contact him at