Democratic Party officials have already begun expressing concern and alarm in private telephone conversations and closed forums. The question hanging in the air in those conversations is what would happen if she were unable to keep running. If that happens, the Democratic National Committee will have to convene to decide on the procedure for selecting a replacement.
There is no one in the party who can receive the nomination automatically. The committee may decide to reconvene the Convention to make the selection. it could be Bernie Sanders, who lost to Clinton in the primary elections, and it could be Tim Kaine, Clinton's nominee for vice president. It could also be a different candidate, such as Vice President Joe Biden. All options are on the table.
The moment the procedure is decided, the move will begin, but no one is talking about it out loud yet. It all depends on Clinton's decision whether to continue the campaign or drop out of the race.
According to procedure, a presidential candidate presents a report on his or her medical state to the public. Clinton has done that: She presented a letter from her doctor stating that she was fit to serve as president. It was not a detailed letter, but it is known in Democratic circles that since the concussion she sustained several years ago, she has been taking blood-thinning medications, and she hasn't been hiding it either.
Her Republican rival, Donald Trump, presented a letter from his doctor stating that if he won the elections, Trump would be the healthiest individual ever elected president. The doctor later confessed that the letter had been dictated to him by Trump in his bombastic language.
If Clinton does not drop out of the race, her medical situation is expected to become a key issue in the campaign. While Trump did not respond to the event hours after her collapse, he will not keep quiet for long. A significant part of his campaign has been devoted to proving that Clinton is suffering from poor health.
Clinton's public image was built mainly on stamina: She nurtured the image of the "iron lady," a woman who knows how to exercise restraint and composure in the White House Situation Room alongside the president, while watching the Navy SEALs' operation to kill Osama bin Laden or while controlling every muscle in her face and concealing her anger and emotions as her husband, former President Bill Clinton, informs the nation that he did not have sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. That is the exact image that was cracked Sunday at the 9/11 memorial.
Even if it was dehydration following a heatstroke, and even if it was the result of effort and exhaustion, Clinton will not be able to shake off the increasingly growing interest in her health – the medications she has been taking and their effect on the person who could become the commander-in-chief of the US Armed Forces and hold the secret codes to the world power's nuclear weapon arsenal.