April 11, 2008

McCain's biggest problem keeps getting worse.

And it will keep getting worse.

ADDED: Link removed, as it went bad. The reference was to a story about McCain's age.

46 comments:

Tom said...

His biggest problem? If age is McCain's biggest problem he'll win easily

Simon said...

They asked a panel of swing voters, but unfortunately they were voters swinging between Dennis Kucinich and Barack Obama.

Sloanasaurus said...

There are a lot more voters aged 72 today then there were in 1984 when Reagan was elected at the age of 74 and a lot of these voters are going to be living for a long time to come. Besides, McCain will only gain to be compared constantly to Reagan, who at the age of 74-78 won the cold war.

The most interesting snippet out of that article was not the headline but this quote:

they were shocked about his belief in abstinence only education.

Did these women hear that 25% of teens (50% of black girls) in this country have an STD? If 25% of teens had any other generally non-fatal disease, say Rickets or scurvy, there would be outcry from all corners, yet because it is an STD which requires teen sex to obtain, there is a surprising silence from the Left. Abstinence is something we need to get serious about.

save_the_rustbelt said...

My wife is a geriatrics nurse, and a couple of times when McCain has been on tv she has wrinkled her brow and wondered out loud if he is healthy enough to be president.

Long distance assessment to be certain, but at times McCain looks very, very tired.

The Drill SGT said...

Got to love those honest ethical Dems

- "We didn't bring it up, but they volunteered it," said Dean

- Dean maintained that the Democratic Party was unlikely to invoke McCain's age in the fall campaign.

- "I doubt we will bring it up in the election," said Dean, referring to the age issue. "There is somewhat of a higher ethical bar on what we do."

- "We don't have to," added D.N.C. spokeswoman Karen Finney.

- "I don't think we have to bring up age," said Cornell Belcher, an Obama pollster who collaborated on the D.N.C.'s McCain poll. "I don't think we will."


Just comment on it at every opportunity.

Sloanasaurus said...

My wife is a geriatrics nurse, and a couple of times when McCain has been on tv she has wrinkled her brow and wondered out loud if he is healthy enough to be president.

What a BS comment this is HA HA HA HAHAHA. You left out "your Obama supporting wife said....."

Nevertheless, McCain could help himself on this issue by commenting regularly on how busy he is. Most people don't realize that he has attended hundreds of town hall meetings in the last 6 months.

knoxwhirled said...

Who brought out Dean? I thought they'd shut him up. Just keep on talking, Howard, dig that grave.

Mateo said...

Funny.

Dean & Co.: "McCain is OLD, but we're not going to bring that up. Are we? No, of course not. It wouldn't be right to bring up how OLD and infirm he is. Did we mention that McCain is OLD? Oh, we did? Well that's the last you'll hear of it from us.It wouldn't be respectful to keep pointing out how (OLD he is. Oops! We did it again. Sorry, we really don't mean to keep harping on his AGE... Dang it!"

Me: Eh. 70 is the new 50. McCain'll be fine. (If you ask me, Obama's too young.)

TMink said...

His age and health are why I would actually vote for him if he chose a serious, conservative VP. Usually, I consider the VP position as so much fluff. With him, it may be an investment in the future.

I cannot imagine how what he went through in the war affected his health.

Trey

Pogo said...

SUPREME COURT

John G. Roberts 53
John Paul Stevens 88 on April 20
Antonin Scalia 72
Anthony Kennedy 71
David Souter 68
Clarence Thomas 59
Ruth Bader Ginsburg 75
Stephen Breyer 69
Samuel Alito 58

dbp said...

McCain should do like Reagan did: Say that he will not hold his opponent's youth and inexperience againts him (or her as the case may be).

Roger J. said...

Considering the ever increasing number of older americans, I think that age issue could be more of a plus.

As to a DNC focus group bringing this up....would love to see the selection criteria used for this focus group. Focus groups are non-random samples.

Synova said...

Old fashioned views are a plus, too. I don't know why anyone would think they aren't.

Cedarford said...

Pogo -

The ages of lawyers dressed in robes who have a 70-day summer vacation, all the rest of the Fed holidays, a pre-election break and spring break is irrelevant to old people in a far more demanding job, The Presidency.

SCOTUS can somehow accomodate people completely disabled by stroke, old age, advanced cancer staying on the job. (Marshall, Douglas, Reinquist). Or the semi-senile. (Sandra Day O'Connor). Not President. And if we are honest about Reagan, his 2nd term seems to show him progressing towards Alzheimers or just being tired and not on the ball as much as he was in his 1st term.

And as bad as SCOTUS has been about keeping physically or mentally non-functional people on the job, Congress takes the cake with several serving with senile dementia.

And polls show that the elderly, more conscious of their limits through personal experience have higher doubts about McCain than the cheery media claiming 73 is just the new 30. If they are going to vote for McCain, they want a damn good, younger but adept co-pilot flying wingman for him.

Pogo said...

I don't disagree, but if we are going to apply some age constraint, do it across the board.

John Forbes Kerry is 65.
Ted Kennedy is 76.
Robert Byrd, born 1917, is 90.

Wake me up when those guys are thrown under the bus with Obama's grandmama.

gophermomeh said...

I'll back that up. My dad, who's as Republican as they come and who's older than McCain, shared with me that he though McCain was too old. And not in a nice way. It's the only time in my life I've heard him diss a fellow Repub. I'm no Dean fan, but there may be something to this. Honestly, I don't think they need to bring it up (anymore) - it could be that elephant in the room...

downtownlad said...

You're only as old as the woman you feel.

PatCA said...

I'm sure Dean will continue to remind us over and over again in the next 9 months about some voters' worry about the age issue.

gophermomeh said...

It's part of the game, isn't it?

Roger J. said...

C4s point about congress and senility is well taken--I understand that the late Senator Thurmond's staff did everything but tie him to his chair and attach puppet strings to keep him upright and animate him. (maybe he was taking as his example, el cid)

Roger J. said...

At this point, the evidence put forward on this thread that in addition to a DNC focus group, is that gopher's dad and rustbelt's wife think McCain is too old.

That sure seals the deal for me!

AllenS said...

Does anyone remember Carl Eller, a former Minnesota Viking football player? Well, he's 66 years old, and just kicked the crap out of 2 Minneapolis police officers.

Sloanasaurus said...

And polls show that the elderly, more conscious of their limits through personal experience have higher doubts about McCain than the cheery media

Gee... what polls are those? I have never heard such a thing.

I think it is a fair generalization, however, to say that a man of 72 is more feeble than the average man age 45. However, I think it is also true that a man of 72 is more experienced than a man aged 45.

There are exceptions to these issues of course. Therefore, we should require McCain to release his medical records more often than Obama. However, at the same time, Obama should be quizzed more often about the goings on in the world. Maybe Obama can give us some pointers about the stresses and emotions that went on with leaders in governments during the cold war and what lessons we can learn from that to help us in the future.

Balfegor said...

I think McCain's problem is not just that he's old -- as people point out, plenty of people are old and in robust good health. It's that he's old and he walks like Frankenstein. He's not just old; he moves like he should be tooling around in a wheelchair like Franklin Roosevelt or Dr. Strangelove. Many people in their 70s -- Bush I in his 70s, for example -- are old but seem reasonably spry all the same. McCain . . . doesn't.

Irene said...

Here are two more names of senior citizens in the electoral arena. Nelson Mandela took office when he was 75. Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, who just announced her intention to run for another ten-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, will be 75 in December. (My 84-year-old mother still has as much sparky kick as the Chief!)

former law student said...

McCain will only gain to be compared constantly to Reagan, who at the age of 74-78 won the cold war and who at the age of 83 disclosed his Alzheimer's disease.

Unlike the Supreme Court, the President cannot restrict his workload, and the President cannot rely on the judgment of eight co-Presidents. He has to deal with catastrophes as they occur, and he has to make decisions on the fly and get them right the first time. Unlike middle-aged and younger people, older people vary widely in their degree of physical and mental health. Besides Alzheimer's, dementia can be caused by ministrokes. How will we know if McCain's judgment has deteriorated? I don't want to see another Edith Wilson running the country. (After Woodrow was incapacitated by a stroke, Mrs. Wilson was widely rumored to have taken charge.)

Pastor_Jeff said...

Stevens is 88?

Good grief, I wouldn't want anyone on the bench at 88.

John Paul Stevens: "Only 8 months ... to go ... must live ..."

AllenS said...

fls said...
"Unlike the Supreme Court, the President cannot restrict his workload".

There seems to be plenty of spare time to enjoy a cigar and intern.

Freeman Hunt said...

Is 72 really that old? For a healthy person, 72 doesn't seem very old to me...

The Drill SGT said...

You all kno Winston Churchill was the PM from 40-45. He ws 66 wehn he took office. that ws when 66 was old. cigars and Brandy....

anyway, most folk dont know he was PM a second time. 51-55. He was 76 when he took office.

died at 91.

The guy had spirit.

Balfegor said...

Is 72 really that old? For a healthy person, 72 doesn't seem very old to me...

For a healthy person, yes. McCain may, in fact be in perfectly good health -- indeed, I understand him to be. But just look at him. He can't lift his arms up. He moves uncommonly stiffly. When walking, he veers into the uncanny valley. He may be in good health, but he still looks extremely unwell, thanks to his five years of imprisonment and torture.

Simon said...

Pastor_Jeff said...
"Stevens is 88? Good grief, I wouldn't want anyone on the bench at 88."

Sure you do, if they can still do the job and they're good at it. I want Scalia on he bench at 88, if he's still up to it. I would have been happy to have Rehnquist for a few more years, too, and he was in his early 80s. They're not playing pro sports up there. It's an intellect job with a comfortable pace that the justice can (to a great extent) set themselves. As long as you've still got all your marbles, age doesn't matter so much up there.

I do agree with Cedarford, however, that age matters more to a President.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Simon,

Heh. I originally wrote, "I don't even want Scalia on the bench at 88" as an expression of my concern at letting even good people stay there forever.

There are a lot of "ifs" in your perfect-world scenario, so I guess it's theoretically possible someone could be qualified at 88. But the reality is that at that age the mind has slipped. My concern is not politics or viewpoint, but the significance of the job those justices perform. I'd rather not have the constitutionality of a law decided by any 88-year-old.

No, it's not sports, but it's a very mentally demanding job. It's silly to assume that an 88-year-old justice is a good as he was when he was 50 or 60.

Sloanasaurus said...

I don't want to see another Edith Wilson running the country. (After Woodrow was incapacitated by a stroke, Mrs. Wilson was widely rumored to have taken charge.)

Which is why Presidents and nominees should be required to release their medical records. Wilson, by the way, was only 62 when he had a stroke, so it can happen to anyone.

Still what should matter most is the actual condition of the man and not their actual age.

For example, at age 45, JFK had had all kinds of ailments. In fact he fell into a coma during an operation in the mid 1950s. JFK was a walking time bomb, but the public didn't know it.

howzerdo said...

There's no denying that we gradually fail with age and all will die someday, but I am disturbed by this ageism. Walking kind of creaky and senility aren't the same thing. I know so many sharp old people, including my 81 year old father and 75 year old mother. (They like both McCain and Obama [but not Clinton], and do not have a problem with either McCain's age or Obama's inexperience.)

Sloanasaurus said...

He may be in good health, but he still looks extremely unwell, thanks to his five years of imprisonment and torture.

Interesting observation. Obama, by the way, has both an obvious smoker's voice and a smoker's physique. Maybe the public deserves to know the condition of his lungs at this point. We know that recently Obama was chewing nic gum to work on quitting and Obama has stated in the past that he smoked maybe 10 cigarettes a day (which means he smoked 20 as no smoker tells the truth). We also know that Obama was smoking in College 25 years ago.

So if in fact Obama has been smoking a pack a day for the past 25 years, who is more likely to have a health problem?

former law student said...

I agree with sloan
(I'm noting this in my journal)

Roger J. said...

Releasing a candidate's medical records, I suggest, won't do all that much good. The candidate doc's will vouch for his health; the docs for hire for the other side (think Howard Dean, MD, for example) will dispute them, the public won't understand them, and in short, the result will be more harm than good.

Revenant said...

So long as McCain makes a good pick for Vice President I don't think this will be too big of a problem. It doesn't matter if McCain lives out his term if his designated replacement makes a good President.

Balfegor said...

There's no denying that we gradually fail with age and all will die someday, but I am disturbed by this ageism. Walking kind of creaky and senility aren't the same thing. I know so many sharp old people, including my 81 year old father and 75 year old mother.

Fair enough. And this may be one reason McCain's campaign has occasionally trotted out his ancient, but lucid, mother. But most peoples' experience of the elderly is not that they remain sharp up to the last moments, but that their minds begin to wander and their recall begins to fade, or they get Alzheimers or whatever.

blake said...

Hmmm. "As much as we appreciate your service to the country, we can't elect you President because the torture you endured made you walk funny and look old."

Nah.

Won't vote for him, but haven't seen any sign that he's less than sharp. Actually, given the guy's campaigning endurance, and the fact that he's still lucid--well, at least he's not "mis-speaking" about things that never happened.

(Anyone doubt that if McCain lied about dodging bullets in Serbia, it would be spun as senility--and under the guise of charity?)

john marzan said...

We won't bring up mccain's age!

Ralph said...

The page I got was Obama's foot-in-mouth. I thought you were being sarcastic about McCain's problem.

Ann Althouse said...

Ralph, no, they've changed what is at the link. It was a story about McCain's age. I'll see if I can dig it up.

former law student said...

The candidate doc's will vouch for his health; the docs for hire for the other side (think Howard Dean, MD, for example) will dispute them

Remember when Presidents were examined and treated at Walter Reed Army Hospital? Having an Army doc review each candidate would defeat that concern.

Revenant said...

People can go downhill fast in their 70s. I've seen elderly people go from "fully alert" to "frequently confused" to "dead" in four years. That's why McCain's age -- or at least his VP pick -- is on the table.