Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (R-MN) responded Tuesday to reports that she suffers from migraines, saying the condition would “not affect my ability to serve as Commander in Chief.”
Tucker Carlson’s The Daily Caller published an anonymously sourced report Monday alleging that migraines “incapacitate” the Minnesota Republican for “days at a time.”
“She has terrible migraine headaches,” an unnamed Bachmann adviser told The Daily Caller. “And they put her out of commission for a day or more at a time. They come out of nowhere, and they’re unpredictable.”
“When she gets ’em, frankly, she can’t function at all. It’s not like a little thing with a couple Advils. It’s bad… The migraines are so bad and so intense, she carries and takes all sorts of pills. Prevention pills. Pills during the migraine. Pills after the migraine, to keep them under control. She has to take these pills wherever she goes,” the adviser added.
In a statement Tuesday, Bachmann denied the migraines were incapacitating.
“Like nearly 30 million other Americans, I experience migraines that are easily controlled with medication,” she said. “I have prescribed medication that I take whenever symptoms arise and they keep the migraines under control. Let me be abundantly clear – my ability to function effectively has never been impeded by migraines and will not affect my ability to serve as Commander in Chief.”
New York Magazine‘s Noreen Malone suggested Tuesday that a male presidential candidate might not be so heavily scrutinized over headaches.
“Migraines happen to be overwhelmingly a woman’s problem, and (though Bachmann’s are supposedly stress-triggered), they are often linked to both menstruation and menopause — unavoidable biological side effects of being a woman,” Malone wrote. “And so, just by the nature and associations of migraines, the story serves as a reminder of the cave-man argument from way back against women holding office — that they might be undone by their hormones in moments of great stress.”
“So while, if a male candidate suffered from migraines, the story would surely have been reported in the same way, because Bachmann is a Lady Running for President, it will unavoidably be filtered through that lens.”