How do you solve a problem like John Fetterman? The freshman senator from Pennsylvania was sworn in on January 3. And on February 8, after 36 days in office, he was admitted to George Washington University Hospital in Washington after experiencing symptoms that looked like it could be another stroke.
He was released after two nights in the hospital. But then on February 15, after 43 days in office, Fetterman checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment of depression. He is still there.
The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that Fetterman “could remain hospitalized for more than a month.”
The senator’s health issues are almost certainly the after-effects of a stroke that he suffered from on May 13, 2022. This was just a few days before Pennsylvania’s Democratic senatorial primary.
Fetterman stayed in the race and won his party’s nomination to move him into the general election campaign. His family and his political team downplayed the seriousness of his condition.
Gisele, Fetterman’s wife, said that the stroke was “a little hiccup” and told reporters that her husband would be “back on his feet in no time.”
This “minor stroke” is now widely recognized to have been life-threatening. And some are saying that because Fetterman focused on his campaign rather than his recovery, he may have permanently damaged his health.
This is from the New York Times: “After the life-changing stroke, days before the Democratic primary last year, Mr. Fetterman briefly pared down his schedule to recover. But he continued to campaign in one of the most competitive and closely watched Senate races in the nation. Now, the possibility that he may have missed out on a crucial recovery period has become a source of pain and frustration for Mr. Fetterman and people close to him, who fear he may suffer long-term and potentially permanent repercussions. His schedule as a freshman senator has meant that he has continued to push himself in ways that people close to him worry are detrimental.”
It is painfully obvious now that Fetterman was in no condition to begin a six-year term as a United States senator. This was obvious to some people even before the 2022 election. So now we have a new senator, pushed by the progressive Left, facing an uncertain future.
There was a fervent desire with Pennsylvania Democrats to defeat the Republican Senate candidate, Dr. Mehmet Oz – who had been endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
But let’s be honest, Fetterman was not the only Democrat who could have run against Oz. Rep. Conor Lamb could have run in the race.
But one Pennsylvania Democrat told the New York Times, of Lamb, that “I look at him as another Joe Manchin,” referring to the famously “centrist” Democratic senator from West Virginia.
Lamb could have won, but the Democrats in the state turned the whole thing into a referendum on Oz — and, by extension, on Trump.
There were so many never-Trumpers in PA that Fetterman won the election after a debate that proved he was not fully recovered. With this level of angst, there had to be others that could have taken Fetterman’s place.
It seems like Fetterman himself appeared to want it badly. So he and his family turned away from the warning signs and pushed ahead to their own anguish.
We can certainly wish Fetterman the best and a complete recovery from his illness, but we can also question why it has gotten to this level. It looks like it was a grave mistake for him to run for this office, and Pennsylvania would certainly be better served by another candidate, even if he or she is more moderate.
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