John Fetterman had a stroke all the way back in early 2022 and has since mounted a significant recovery. But the mainstream media callously waited until just a few weeks ago to suddenly start playing up Fetterman’s stroke in hyperbolic and dishonest fashion, in the name of trying to milk his Senate race for ratings down the stretch.
In fact the media has been overplaying Fetterman’s stroke so cartoonishly, it convinced a lot of folks that Fetterman was some kind of invalid. Accordingly, Fetterman’s once-larger lead in the polling averages has suddenly shrunk to just two and a half points.
But during Tuesday night’s debate, Fetterman came across as a guy who has largely (not fully) recovered and is pretty close to being normal. The media had set expectations so low, Fetterman’s debate performance almost surely helped him in the eyes of persuadable voters.
Moreover, most members of the public don’t actually watch Senate debates. Instead they end up seeing or hearing just a few soundbites from the debate. The debate can last two hours, but most people will only ever hear thirty seconds of it. Fetterman, in spite of a few minor stumbles, didn’t produce any embarrassing soundbites. Oz, on the other hand, created arguably the soundbite of the entire 2022 election cycle when he said that abortion should be decided by a woman, her doctor, and local politicians. Yes, he really said this.
So the story coming out of the Pennsylvania Senate debate is that Fetterman is in far better condition than the media was claiming, and that Oz is a deranged extremist who wants to take away women’s most basic rights. This is good news for Fetterman. He survived the debate and came off better than most were expecting, even as Oz stepped in it with a terrible soundbite that’s already going viral. Fetterman’s people also announced that he received more than a million dollars in campaign donations in the hours after the debate – a sign that voters approved of his performance. You can donate to Fetterman here.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report