It's the Serotonin, Stupid.
Is the otherwise ebullient Bill Clinton under treatment for clinical depression?
The ex-president is "taking antidepressants," says a well-informed source; let's just pick a random pseudonym for chimpstein's confidential informant.
How about ... W. Mark Felt?
Actually, Dr. Felt. He's a psychiatrist colleague of Clinton's physician, who would have blatantly violated confidentiality laws if he divulged the information to any other doctor without Clinton's consent.
It's not surprise that he blabbed; doctors have big mouths and love to boast about their famous patients. But Clinton on antidepressants could be quite a shocker.
He is not known to have any prior history of depression or even to have devoted a major speech to the aliment, which the National Mental Health Association says afflicts 19 million Americans each year. It is not listed in the index for his gargantuan autobiography.
But the man just one election away from being the nation's first First Husband, had open heart surgery in September 2004. The procedure can induce depression.
Why would Clinton, who blathers about almost everything personal, keep quiet about the new medication he is said to take?
I have no comment on whether the White House got you fired," says Hudson fellow Michael Horowitz. "I have no comment until the end of time.
One possible explanation: there is no depression lobby.
Unlike other diseases, you don't gain political capital by discussing your own bouts with clinical depression or travails that loved ones suffered.
Is he worried that discussion could lead to some embarrassing questions since one well-known side-effect of antidepressants is delayed ejaculation?
Does that mean next time around Clinton could be less likely to leave his calling card on an ambitious underling's blue dress?
But conservatives shouldn't make too many jokes. Unlike multiple divorcee/guardian of family values Rush Limbaugh, at least Clinton can get his pills without any question of illegality.
Although Clinton is synonymous with dishonesty going public about the medication could help Americans understand the truth about depression.
Contrary to oft-repeated assertions by certain simpletons on the right, Prozac and other SSRIs are not happy pills dispensed promiscuously by doctors in the throes of our therapeutic culture. It would be equally inane to claim that diabetics are given more insulin than they need because health freaks on the left exaggerate the dangers of sugar.
All but the abysmally ignorant understand full well that depression, caused by chemical imbalance, not excessive angst, is a serious medical condition which, like any other, often requires medication.
If untreated and severe it can lead to suicide.
Depression also exacerbates other common medical conditions, such as high blood pressure.
Clinton's press office did not respond to requests for comment
If pressed, however, might Clinton get cagey.
"Yes, I took Prozac. But I didn't swallow."