Amid Rep. Michele Bachmann's surging campaign for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination comes a revelation that the candidate suffers from severe migraine headaches. The news has mushroomed as a major political story, with prominent Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza insisting that the headaches matter.
Cillizza contends they matter largely as a question of Bachmann's fitness for office, of whether she could do the demanding job of president were she to win the nomination and go on to defeat Barack Obama.
To be sure, I'm not going to diminish the agony that migraines cause those, like Bachmann, who suffer from them; and, certainly, the fitness-for-office issue is a key question any candidate must answer.
However, Cillizza himself notes that Bachmann immediately and unequivocally answered that question with a statement that the headaches would not prevent her from carrying out duties in the White House.
Further, he correctly points out that a number of past candidates -- from Ronald Reagan to John McCain, as well as others — successfully have answered the question in the face of much more severe health issues, including cancer.
Until evidence to the contrary emerges, Bachmann's own statement should answer any doubts about her health. She has many other questions to address which are much more important to her candidacy.
Most immediately, Bachmann has to respond to reports satisfactorily that her aides roughed up a TV reporter. Her staffers reportedly assaulted reporter ABC News reporter Brian Ross as he attempted to ask Bachmann about her migraines.
As a member of Congress who is running for president with limited executive experience at best, the way Bachmann runs her campaign matters. She needs to deal with the attack on Ross in an honest way that shows that she is accountable and in charge of her team.