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McCain's Age (Again)

Even as the debate over whether Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) age -- he will be 72 on Election Day 2008 -- is a legitimate campaign issue rages on, a group of Democratic operatives are out with a campaign jingle that is sure to inflame passions on both sides.

The song (and video) speak for themselves, so let's look at them first.

(Our favorite line: "He's older than his wife and he's younger than his mama/He's old enough to be one and a half Barack Obamas". Our second favorite line: "John McCain is older than the Golden Gate Bridge/ He's younger than Bob Dole but only by a smidge.")

"McAncient" was produced by the Organizing Group, a Democratic consulting firm run by longtime AFL-CIO political operative Steve Rosenthal. It's the same group that produced a video earlier this year on McCain's age and maintains a website called "Younger Than McCain". (Boston-based playwright John J. King is the lyricist and vocalist for the song.)

McCain's campaign has been vigilant about seeking to keep discussion of the candidate's age outside of the sphere of acceptable campaign discourse; when Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) recently said that McCain had "lost his bearings" during an interview with CNN, the Arizona senator's campaign immediately released a tart rebuke from senior adviser Mark Salter -- is there any other kind? -- that accused Obama of purposely injecting age into the race.

While Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has said his party will not make McCain's age an issue in the campaign, groups like Rosenthal's seem set on doing so.

We want to hear from you. Is McCain's age fair game in the fall campaign? Why or why not?

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 15, 2008; 4:40 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Home > Society & Culture > Religion & Spirituality > Open Question Premansu ROY DAS Member since:
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DRAUPADI, pRINCESS OF SHARED WIVES DOCTRINE OF HINDU EPIC MAHABHARATA EXTENED TO SLIT HUSBAND BY WORLD RELIG/
THE REV DR KAMAL KARNA ROY'S RELIGION BASED MASTERPIECE BY ABOVE NAME HAS 3 WIVES FICTITIOUS
CHARACTERS WERE SCRIBED AS HEROINES FROM KRISHNA NAGAR, WB,INDIA, PARNA BANERJEE NATH OF BAIDYABATI,WB AND PAROMITA BAIDYA ROY , BUT ONE PANDAVA ONLY REVEALED IN TEXT OF STORYLINE,OTHER PANDAVAS WERE KEPT BEHIND CURTAIN, BUT WERE LIVING SOULS ON LOVELINES PAROMITA WAS LOVE BIRD FROM DWELLING :TAPASYA CHIRANJEEB VIHAR , GAZIABAD, U P, INDIA
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by Jackie P Member since:
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I do not understand the question, sorry!

All I can think is that men probably think..... "ah those were the days"... back when they could have harems.
8 hours ago
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Posted by: gargi lahiri_draupadithe rev ms | May 20, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

People in Arizona don't live in glass houses!

Posted by: Jon Morgan | May 18, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Age is the issue that McCain's campaign has raised, way earlier than Obama's. Their main criticism of OBAMA is lack of EXPERIENCE. Obviously, if Obama had lived longer, he would have more. So really it is absurd for McCain to complain about this issue then they themselves are not just mentioning it, but elevating it to the main focus of their campaign. Here's an old truism, that even McCain would have known as a kid: People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks....

Posted by: Steven Fierberg | May 18, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Is it fair game, absolutely. Would any campaign or group in their right mind bring age into the debate for the purpose of an attack when the largest and most likely group to vote is senior citizens? If they want to win, I hope not.

Posted by: Crunchy | May 18, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Obama quit smoking.

Whether senior citizens, depending how you define that term, are still the most represented age group at the polling place isn't clear anymore.

The contours of this discussion, and the fact that it's happening at all, are why I've been salivating over a McCain-Obama race. When has the older candidate by 25 years won a major election in this country? It's like Eisenhower vs. JFK or Bush Sr. vs. Clinton. We don't want to go backwards; it's time to pass the torch to a new generation of leaders.

Posted by: Jon Morgan | May 18, 2008 5:49 AM | Report abuse

With age comes wisdom...
McCain was an officer in the Navy - that requires leadership...
His mother is 96 and campaigning with him... so, there are good genetics there....
I've known folks that are in their 40's that have died or developed mental problems (alzheimers is not only a disease of the old)
Age is an issue, but it must be analyzed carefully - what behaviors that you associate with aging do you feel would be detrimental to someone being President of the US? Is John McCain exhibiting them?

Or does his age give him advantages that make him better qualified than any other candidate?

This is not about knee jerks, cutesy songs, clever tag lines - this is about the future of our country and its impact on the rest of the world....

Posted by: PS | May 18, 2008 1:26 AM | Report abuse

His health and age are legitimate factors as well as his wild and crazy younger days.
Maybe it would be helpful to see pictures of other Presidents at his age to tyr to deduce how old he might live to. Reagan looked younger and died pretty old but Eisenhower not so much.btw young presidents T.roosevelt JK polk and J.kennedy also died young.

Posted by: djw3505 | May 17, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

The video wasn't clear enough. The vido should show things in use when McCain was born that are no longer in use. Like crank telephones, radios, vintage cars, 5 cent bottle of milk, mens spats, womens's permed hair, ice box, hand wringer washing machines, the flag with 48 stars, electric street cars, Hawaii not being a state, Alaska not being a state, round glasses or pince nez, cover of Saturday Evening Post magazine, flapper fashion, airplane, etc. Followed by things that didn't exist when he was born like TV, computers, ipod, digital clocks, wireless phones, trip to the moon, grocery scanners etc,etc.

Posted by: afgail | May 17, 2008 2:53 AM | Report abuse

McCain's age is not an issue. That he is having tremdous memory failure IS THE ISSUE! He should undergo a PET scan before being allowed to run further. Just look were having a brain-dead, half-wit, retarded dried up drunk and cocaine abuser in the oval office has done for us. Bush is such a looser his daddy's bros in Saudi Arabia won't listen to him about lowering the price of oil to save his bacon. Looks like the Arabs are telling him, "Heck of job, Georgie!" "Now we hang you out to dry like you have everyone who has ever been associated with you." "B'bye."

Posted by: Anonymous | May 17, 2008 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Yes, McCain's age is an issue. A BIG issue. He has already had public "senior moments." - who knows how many he has in private? In addition to memory, it's likely that his stamina is on the decline, too.

That's not safe in a President.

We saw glimpses of Reagan's Alzheimer's disease in his second term, but assumed at the time that they were just convenient "forgetting."

One commentator recently observed, looking scandalized, that people over 65 were the most concerned about McCain's age.

They aren't biased, folks. They just know the facts of aging. Being over 70 has many satisfactions. I know. I'm about McCain's age.

Posted by: Senior Lady | May 17, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Sure it's an issue, but maybe McCain could play it light, like Reagan did in his debate with Mondale.
I can just imagine McCain channeling Lloyd Bentson's immortal debate line against Dan Quayle: "Senator Obama, I knew Abraham Lincoln, and you're no Abraham Lincoln. . ."

Posted by: John Abdenour | May 16, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Reagan turned 74 a couple of weeks after his second inaugural, so we've had sitting presidents McCain's age and older before. But at the beginning of his first term Reagan was two and a half years younger than McCain would be Jan 20, 2009.
And in the presidency, the first term learning curve is brutal - the thing that ages presidents so greatly. Everyone remembers that Reagan, who was very young and fit for his age, was increasingly out of it as his second term progressed.
A candidate's literal fitness for office is an appropriate topic for discussion, and age can be germane when discussing physical fitness.

Posted by: John Abdenour | May 16, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

When the general election campaign gets into July and August, we'll see how age starts playing out. Obama has already knocked off a candidate that was supposed to be experience incarnate, although in Clinton's case, that "experience" proved as much spin as substance. Still, Obama's youth and inexperience won out.

McCain, on the other hand, has decades of bona fide experience. Of course, mixed in with that experience is the Keating Five scandal and a string of other questionable and hypocritical behaviors, but the decision about whether or not to hand off a war to a neophyte or to pass it to an old hand will be interesting. Obama would not be the youngest president ever, but he'd only be a few years older than JFK was.

Since the question of age comes up, what is particularly interesting to me in the way that this campaign is shaping up is that the Baby Boomer generation is at risk of their spot at the top of the political heap ending after only two presidencies, both of which have been mired in controversies.

The World War II generation produced all of the presidents from JFK up until George H.W. Bush (all born between 1908 and 1924, all having served or of age to serve during the war). That's six presidents all born in a 16-year span serving for a combined 32 years.

The Baby Boomers, on the other hand, were supposed to be the generation to change the world, or so went the hype for this generation. As it pans out, however, that generation's first president survived eight years of scandal and was only the second president to be impeached, and it's second president is proving one of the most unpopular in recent history, having entangled the country in a mixed-up war. And as far as the social agenda goes, would anyone at the end of the 1960s have predicted that this generation's most prominent social accomplishments were No Child Left Behind and don't-ask-don't-tell? It's a pretty weak record so far in the wake of all the energy, anger, and excitement of the 1960s.

Now, the choice looks to be between McCain (born in 1936) and Obama (born in 1961). By some measures, admittedly, Obama is technically at the tail end of the Boomer generation, but I'd count him more in a generation falling between the Baby Boomers and Generation X. Obama didn't come of age during the '60s like the Clintons or George W. Bush did (all born 1946-47); he never faced the possibility of being drafted during Vietnam; he wasn't even a teenager yet during the civil rights protests, and he would not remember where he was when Kennedy was shot. The defining events for Boomers were largely missed by Obama. McCain, of course, lived through these, but he was a Depression-era baby, a full decade older than the Boomers.

Although it is impossible to project what candidates will come forward during the next couple elections, it is entirely possible that the Baby Boomers will end up with only two presidencies to their credit...or discredit, as the case may be, which is surprising to me in that this generation has otherwise largely dominated the cultural attention of the last 40 years. The next presidency could well go back to the Boomers, but especially if the person elected in 2008 serves for eight years, the 2016 election (with Baby Boomers beginning to turn 70) could well feature candidates mostly born during the 1960s rather than during the late-1940s and 1950s.

Whence the Baby Boomers?

Posted by: blert | May 16, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Chris Cillizza. Dana Milbank. When will the Post employ a snarky conservative to write hip, smug blogs 'n columns making fun of a Democrat candidate's age. Oh yeah. That's never. Instead, the Post would run editorials about how hateful Republicans are.

Obama's declared intent to appease thugocracies like Iran's is fair game. Got over it.

Posted by: Doc | May 16, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

(Again)? LOL, as if McCain has received 1/100th of the attention the democratic candidates have endured in the last 6 months. McCain's age has not been debated YET, genius. The presidential race has not even really begun, so get ready for it to not only be debated, but for his age to remain an issue for many voters this season who feel the old guard have already done too much damage to this country and are ready to try something new besides a 'war' on everything (iraq, terrorism, science, drugs, ethics, etc.)

Posted by: NotAfraidOfRobots | May 16, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

It's fair game, but not good game.

You'll engender sympathy for the man and a backlash of older voters.

Better to concentrate on his mistakes or misstatements as contradictory and let McCain make the argument he can't keep his words straight (rather than waffling).

Posted by: Bissron from Stevensville Montana | May 16, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

I think this is a touchy issue for both of them. Obama looks a lot younger than he is. (In fact, his appearance suggests there may be something to what the doctors keep saying about the benefits of daily exercise, eating right, close family, and good stress management. Nah, crazy talk. Back to the Cheesy Poofs.)

Does that line about one and a half Obamas make you think "wow, McCain is old" or "wow, Obama is young"? Or is that line a Rorschach test that depends not only on who you support -- but how old you are? Remember, seniors remain the most highly represented population at the voting booth--and don't think they can't find Youtube. This could scare some of them off Obama as easily as it might scare others off McCain.

Speaking as an Obama supporter, I suggest the outside parties behind this type of thing leave the age issue at that and knock it off in the future.

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | May 16, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely it is important. It's like trusting my own father with the health and welfare of all Americans. My 66 year old dad falls asleep waiting in the parking lot to pick up his grandaughter from Kindergarten. Sure he still cuts wood and fixes things around the house but after that he goes home to take a nap. Come on - it's pretty damn important and anyone who says otherwise is full of it.

Posted by: fmlndn71 | May 16, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

John McCain age does matter in becoming a President. At that age, a person mind is not as alert as a younger person. You need a sound and alert mind if you are to be President. If he becomes president he would be 76 while in office. That is too old. We need a younger president with new ideas and aspirations.

Posted by: lclon | May 16, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

The fault does not lay with Sen.McCain.
As a fellow Veteran, i respect him.

The FAULT lies solely with the

GOP

Who encouraged and put him into an Impossible and unwinable situation
knowig full well after eight years of Bush, they faced a no win sirtuation not seen since NIXON. IMHO

YES WE CAN YES WE WILL YES WE DID!

John From Cape Cod, Ma. USN/USCG HM2
1978-1988

Posted by: John from Cape Cod | May 16, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

frame the question around who his (McCain's) VP selection will be, subtly suggesting a concern that he/she be ready and able to take over at a moment's notice. After all (wink wink)...


Posted by: David | May 16, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

It may cost him votes among the elderly, who will look in the mirror two mornings out of three and mumble, "Not feeling very presidential today, are we?" Then they'll scoot into the living room and McCain will be on the tube looking and sounding a lot like them.

On the other hand, that whippersnapper Obama may have them thinking, "I bet he drives too fast, like these young maniacs around here!"

Posted by: jchaney | May 16, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Age is certainly relevant. The Presidency is a demanding 24X7 job. We have had enough the last 8 years with a President who took over a year off to rest and relax at his ranch, and he is physically fit and 15 years younger.

Not only is age relevant but his over all health is absolutely key. Here is a man who is a cancer survivor. How can age and health not be an issue. We don't elect a Vice President, we elect a President.

Posted by: Sean | May 16, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

YES, John McCain's age as is his experience at the Naval Academy wherein he alledgedly spent most of his time drunk, graduated at the bottom of his class, crashed multiple plans. Bush was a LEGACY admission at YALE and McCain was a LEGACY admission in the Naval Academy. Legacy admissions are a form of affirmative action for the children of privilege who's qualifications are otherwise insufficient for them to gain admission on their own merits. This is not political speak. McCain is NOT a WAR HERO, a greater likelihood is that he is a victim of his own stupidity. Now, true he was tortured and I do not wish any American citizen to undergo the kind of treatment that he did. BUT, the reason why McCain seems unstable at times and is prone to fits of anger is that McCain is not whole. Something inside of him is clearly broken and not healed. Therefore, in my estimation, America would be taking a great risk making McCain President. The NAVY did not promote McCain and that should also give Americans pause.

Posted by: Christopher London, Esq. (NYC) | May 16, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Yes, of course age makes a difference. Few people at age 70 are as capable as they were at 50 or 60. McCain has problems from his war wounds and cancer, and while I do not know him personally, I would be very surprised if he does not suffer from ill-health and diminished capacity.

Some commentators have attacked this as "ageism" -- comparing it to racism and sexism. I find that absurd. Being black or female does not affect person's ability to think or act as president. But being old certainly does!

Posted by: Jed Rothwell | May 16, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

McCain is old as dirt and twice as ugly. OK, got that outta my system. Why doesn't he release his medial records? McCain has something to hide! Is it Alzheimer's? Maybe that's what he has most in common with Ronald Reagan. That and his remarkable likeness to someone buried almost 4 years.

Posted by: Roofelstoon | May 16, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

It is definitely fair game, just not an issue.

Posted by: Bobby | May 16, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

BUT THE REAL McCAIN TALKING POINT WHICH HAS NOT BEEN UTTERED YET IS THIS ONE: DOES ANYONE WANT A PRESIDENT OBAMA BUTRESSED BY A CERTAIN DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS LED BY PEOLSI AND REID. BRAVO FOUNDING FATHERS, DIVIDED GOVERNMENT KEEPS US TO THE CENTER!

Posted by: | May 16, 2008 2:58 PM

-------------------------------
That's why I'm hoping that Pelosi is sent home by Cindy Sheehan, who is running as an independent for her seat, and Hillary is offered Reid's chair for helping Obama after she drops out.

Posted by: Patrick NYC | May 16, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

My father is 71 and has a lot in common with Sen. John McCain. My father is retired from the U.S. Navy. Both were exemplary military man. They are both disabled from their service in Vietnam. My dad joined when he was 18. They both serverd their country in Vietnam. They have both been eligible to collect Social Security for nine years. After 32 years of service, the Navy refused to allow my dad to re-enlist because he was too old and too disabled. Regardles, he has kept working full-time until ever since. While I love my dad and I am proud of his service to this country, there is no way in the world I believe he or John McCain have enough left in their tanks to be the president of the United States.

Posted by: Rod | May 16, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Look, vote for Mccain if you like but don't fool yourself as to what he is. There are too many records he can't run away from. He can only hope it doesn't get so dirty that they get introduced. I have a feeling they will though. So hold your nose and vote for him if you must but don't try to B***s**t the rest of us.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

McCain could have heard "American" (that is, Republican) Senator Borah make his Hitler remark live on the radio.

Posted by: Spectator2 | May 16, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

So what are these extensive qualifications? Years as a do nothing senator, A less then prestigious phony military career. Terrible grades when in school. years of alcoholism and drug use. So what do we have here. An old man with less with then stellar intelligence, suspect health and wrapped in George Bush's policies. You have to be kidding.


++++++++++++
Saw Sen McCain in Oregon on May 12th. He looked terrific and acted with pep and passion. He's truly ready to be Commander in Chief on day one, unlike his inexperienced opponents.

Posted by: kit hogan | May 16, 2008 2:15 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Mccain was an absolute disgrace as a military man. You have to be kidding. Check his record, a complete screw up from day one.


Now, let's see. On the one hand we have a vigourous senior whose military record is beyond reporach and whose patriotism is proven. On the other hand, we have a young empty suit who suddenly decides to wear flag lapel pins on the still empty suit (but now with a flag in the lapel.) However, he still has made no serious rebuke to his wife's positvely outrageous comment ("For the first time in my adult life, I'm proud to be an American".) And he does not realistically explain how he sat in a pew for 20 years and failed to discern his pastor's leanings---talk about trusting him with serious diplomacy. Sure age is a factor, and this voter would be more inclined to Hillary if McCain goes to the right for his veep selection. But against Obama, I would vote for McCain and hold my nose if I disliked his choice for veep (but felt my vote was critical) or sit home and not vote if McCain appeared a shoo-in. BUT THE REAL McCAIN TALKING POINT WHICH HAS NOT BEEN UTTERED YET IS THIS ONE: DOES ANYONE WANT A PRESIDENT OBAMA BUTRESSED BY A CERTAIN DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS LED BY PEOLSI AND REID. BRAVO FOUNDING FATHERS, DIVIDED GOVERNMENT KEEPS US TO THE CENTER!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I hope you are joking. He was one of the worst, finishing at the bottom of his class. Could never have gotten in if not for who his father was. Crashed 5 planes and spent all his off time drunk according the the people he served with. If not for who his family was he would have been thrown out of the service. Some things are a matter of record and can't be changed or ignored.

***********
Now, let's see. On the one hand we have a vigourous senior whose military record is beyond reporach and whose patriotism is proven.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Obama should or will make age an issue, he needs to cultivate the dinosaur vote.

There will be plenty of other people making it for him including McCain when he continues to get confused about international politics and positions he took not so long ago.

Posted by: JR | May 16, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

McCains age will affect the race no matter what. But it should be discussed in way that is considered and respectful.
Rediculing candidates based on their race, age, gender etc. is the signature of hacks and blow-hards like Rush Limbaugh. If McCain has age-related memory loss or a slowing down of cognitive function it will come to light during the campaign and hopefully people will factor that in to their desire for a capable US president. That said, slow cognitive funtion didn't seem to put people off of Bush in 2004, so who knows.

Posted by: dave | May 16, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Obama should or will make age an issue, he needs to cultivate the dinosaur vote.

There will be plenty of other people making it for him including McCain when he continues to get confused about international politics and positions he took not so long ago.

Posted by: JR | May 16, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

PS

Do you think that someone who was actually alive when Neville Chamberlain was still "current events" should also be expected to know what Chamberlain's appeasement of the Nazis really entailed? (I do.)

Posted by: Carmen Cameron | May 16, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Now, let's see. On the one hand we have a vigourous senior whose military record is beyond reporach and whose patriotism is proven. On the other hand, we have a young empty suit who suddenly decides to wear flag lapel pins on the still empty suit (but now with a flag in the lapel.) However, he still has made no serious rebuke to his wife's positvely outrageous comment ("For the first time in my adult life, I'm proud to be an American".) And he does not realistically explain how he sat in a pew for 20 years and failed to discern his pastor's leanings---talk about trusting him with serious diplomacy. Sure age is a factor, and this voter would be more inclined to Hillary if McCain goes to the right for his veep selection. But against Obama, I would vote for McCain and hold my nose if I disliked his choice for veep (but felt my vote was critical) or sit home and not vote if McCain appeared a shoo-in. BUT THE REAL McCAIN TALKING POINT WHICH HAS NOT BEEN UTTERED YET IS THIS ONE: DOES ANYONE WANT A PRESIDENT OBAMA BUTRESSED BY A CERTAIN DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS LED BY PEOLSI AND REID. BRAVO FOUNDING FATHERS, DIVIDED GOVERNMENT KEEPS US TO THE CENTER!

Posted by: j | May 16, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

It isn't his age that concerns me nearly so much as how "The Straight Talk Express" has morphed into the "Pandering Political Pretzel."

Perhaps that's due to his age. (Far more likely, though, it's due to his desperation.)

And I think everyone (Democrats, Republicans AND Independents) would really breathe a sigh of relief if McCain could just simply get the protagonists in the Middle East straight in his mind (without Joe Lieberman having to prompt him constantly).

Perhaps the media should consider intelligence as a pertinent issue in candidates who run for US President? More so than their age? Maybe???

Posted by: Carmen Cameron | May 16, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

This could air on Saturday Night Live unchanged and no one would think it was out of bounds.

Anyway, I hope I don't get flamed for this, but I think anything which bears on a person's background is in bounds, including age (as many have pointed out, it's called "experience" when we view it positively), but also including things like (gasp) religion, gender, and race.

Then we can start talking about what these things -mean-, and of course I might view certain things as out-of-bounds at that point. Obama: "is a Muslim" is not true. McCain: "likely to die during first term" misunderstands the term "life expectancy."

I view Obama's relationship with race to be a positive -- but I'm sure some view it negatively. I'll wait to hear what they say before I judge it as merely a contrary opinion or an outrage.

I think with Obama's "losing his bearings" comment -- in context (have you watched it?) -- it seems pretty clear it referred to McCain acting out-of-character, not being old.

These ads, on the other hand, make no argument (that I could discern) at all; they simply dramatize McCain's age (I think the Dole comparison hurts the most) and how much has changed in the world, trying to shape perception that he is out-of-touch because of age alone. I view the essential argument as in bounds (there is too little generational consciousness in our politics, in my view), but I think this ad tries to manipulate me to that position rather than convincing me -- that part I don't like.

If I made this ad I'd feel guilty, but maybe not evil.

Posted by: inonit | May 16, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Chris:

Let's ask a more pointed question....How long will he survive in a jail cell at the Hague with his roomate chimpy dubya??

Posted by: RB-Chicago | May 16, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Senator McCain's age symbolizes perfectly the old, worn-out policies of his party. While his age may have no effect on his ability to perform as President, it certainly makes his choice of a running mate more critical.

Posted by: Freedom5 | May 16, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Saw Sen McCain in Oregon on May 12th. He looked terrific and acted with pep and passion. He's truly ready to be Commander in Chief on day one, unlike his inexperienced opponents.

Posted by: kit hogan | May 16, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Physical and Mental Condition of candidates is obviously relevant. To the extent Age factors into these condition it is relevant.

Reagan's last years should be a reminder.

Posted by: Spectator | May 16, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

of course, it is an issue. Look how much Shrub has aged, and he hasn't done anything but cause trouble and then let someone else handle it.

Posted by: aeg | May 16, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Sure age is a legitimate issue. Which is why I won't vote for Obama, because he's younger than I am. :)

Posted by: WashingtonDame | May 16, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

In the campaign race or age should not be the issue. The focusing on race and age only detracts them from addressing how each will handle the problems of the economy, the wars, the healthcare crisis, bolstering our educational system, rising energy costs and taking care of the environment. Voters decisions should primarily be based on who has the best plan forward for America. When they present their ideas people will see that Obama brings a new perspective and new ideas, while McCain's perspective and ideas are embedded in the previous century and will not work in this century. So no one will make an issue of McCain's age, he will do that himself when he speaks about things in the past while not being able to fathom what's reqired for the present and the future.

The majority of younger voters will vote against McCain because of his age - they want a forward thinking president, whereas a majority of people in McCain's age group will vote for him. But they need to turn out on election day to vote - which traditionally they have not been a major factor.

I worry about the mental capacity of those seniors who will vote for McCain - how many of them are in the grips of Alzheimer's or on the verge of falling into that diagnosis. I also worry about people in this category being so rooted in the past while afraid of change. They want a conservative government, their monthly social security checks, and low health care costs but don't see the need to change the way government does business. How many of these people will still be around to see what a disaster a McCain administration will have on America and the lives of American people? And yet, this group of people are the ones who faithfully turn out on voting day and can be the deciding factor in the race.

Posted by: nevadaandy | May 16, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a fast learner and can surround himself with the brightese and the best.

Mccain can't get younger and he is not even very bright finishing almost last in his class. Next to Obama I will take the bright fast learner over the old man who is not very bright in the first place. It is not even a close call.


((((((((((((((((
If we take McCain's age off the table for debate, we must also take Obama's lack of experience and youth off the table. I think that helps Obama even MORE.

Posted by: Rob, Fairfax, VA | May 16, 2008 1:41 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Age is not an issue, but health (and most improtantly, mental health) is definitely an issue. Insofar as age affects mental health, age is a fair issue.

Posted by: Tetris | May 16, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

If we take McCain's age off the table for debate, we must also take Obama's lack of experience and youth off the table. I think that helps Obama even MORE.

Posted by: Rob, Fairfax, VA | May 16, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I was in the bar business your years. From observation, people who smoke that make don't really smoke them. I doubt they smoke half that many really. They are more involved in the ritual of the cigarette and always having one in their hand. They often put out a cigarette only half smoked only to go through the ritual of getting another out and lighting it.

))))))))))))))
"I wonder if someone should ask for Obama's lung x-ray since the man is known to smoke a pack and a half of those cancer causing cigarettes a day. You liberals make me laugh... haha "

I always wonder about people who smoke a pack or two packs a day. Doesn't a pack of cigarettes have like 20 in each? How does one find the time to smoke that many?

But yeah, Obama's smoking is definitely an issue.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 16, 2008 1:06 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

His age is totally a valid issue. Lets call a spade a spade, its an issue because he might die soon. Average male life expectancy is somewhere around 74, and he has had a rough life filled with life-span shortening factors. How much stress can a man of his age withstand? 'cause the presidency is a very stressful job.

He also might not have the vigor for the job, and if he does now he might not for long. Its not a slam against him or other elderly people, its just the truth.

Maybe he's an exceptionally well-constructed man and will be able to defeat jihadists in hand to hand combat through the year 2012. Maybe he's just been lucky and he's one fall away from being bedridden. We don't know, we deserve to know before we choose, so its a legitimate issue.

Posted by: Craig B | May 16, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

As an Obama supporter and as one who supports the Consitution of the United States, the Constitution specifies minimum age and place of birth qualitications only. There are no exams to be President, as some try to sggest. Heaven knows that Bush would have failed the exam. I agree with other posts here that suggest that McCain's age is only as relevant as is Hillary's sex and Obama's skin color. It does seem to me that Obama's skin color is the greatest problem of the three because of the intense undercurrent of the racial divide that exists in all parts of this country. I cannot improve on the Bill Moyers' Journal Public TV program of a week or so ago. I do believe that McCain's place of birth could be the subject of a Supreme Court decision in the future. Unlike those who were born in territories that late became states, McCain poses a different circumtance. I also agree that as the campaign begins to focus more on the main candidates for President, McCain's and Obama's abilities will be manifest for all to see. From what I have seen so far, I really think that the younger, more articulate "horse" in this race will prove too much for the older, confused one.

Posted by: Earl C, Virginia Beach | May 16, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder if someone should ask for Obama's lung x-ray since the man is known to smoke a pack and a half of those cancer causing cigarettes a day. You liberals make me laugh... haha "

I always wonder about people who smoke a pack or two packs a day. Doesn't a pack of cigarettes have like 20 in each? How does one find the time to smoke that many?

But yeah, Obama's smoking is definitely an issue.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 16, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Chris, Any thoughts on the equal marriage decision out of California? By all accounts, gay and lesbian rights are an issue where there is a generation gap. How does this play out in the presidential race? Or does the race continue to focus on economic issues and foreign policy?

Posted by: Jane | May 16, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Is the Macs age a campaign issue? Is there anything that isn't a campaign issue? People make things up and then try to make their imagined issue a campaign issue, at least Mac really will be 72 years old this year, so it has the fact it is true working in its favor.
Do we want a 72 year old president? Probably not, many remember Reagan in his dotage and realize if Mac totally slipped into the deep end of Alzheimer's, there's faint hope that "We the People" would be allowed to know our president was in the grips of dementia (and with George in office, we've all come to realize that it isn't easy to discern an Alzheimer's patient from a Republican without medical tests).

Posted by: Dijetlo | May 16, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse


That's kind of correct. He was probably born on sovereign territory - which includes Military Bases, embassies, etc.

Had he been born to a soldier parent but in a hospital off-base, he likely would have been deemed ineligible.


-----------------
Michael Rose-
Actually, McCain's father was serving in the US Navy and stationed in Panama (?) at the time John was born. Children of US military members born outside the country because of their parent's duty assignments are absolutely 100% US citizens. This will not be an issue for McCain.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Mr, McCain's age is only as relevant as Hillary's sex and Obama's skin color

Posted by: will | May 16, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

republicans voted for a retard twice so why wouldn't they go for the trifecta and vote for the senile guy with the hairpin temper?

Posted by: pj451 | May 16, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Obama's race is fair game. Obama's asscociations are fair game. Obama's leftist record is fair game.

Posted by: rationalthinker | May 16, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Of course the age of anyone seeking the presidency is an issue. We're not hiring a greeter at WalMart, we're hiring someone who has their finger on the button. Older age alone is not a reason to vote for or against someone; but it certainly is something to consider, given the rigor needed to be president. (Remember, Reagan was suffering early signs of Alzheimers in his second term. ) Age may not impact McCain one iota, or it could be a real problem. It is a real issue to be considered. The reverse is also true -- someone could be too young to be president. Isn't that what the whole experience issue is about?

Posted by: gsp | May 16, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

It is bad strategy to spread mean spirited material like this.
Alienate older voters: not good.
It is not his age that disqualifies him.
It is so easy to campaign on substance instead on jokes.
As Barach said of Hillary, everyone can misspeak or slip up.
But You Tube is here to stay, if not takeover, and anyone can publish anything. We will unfortunately see it all from obamagirl to hot4hill to this. There is just a little too much information.


Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I agree with some of the previous posters that McCain's health, not his age, may be an issue for him. His mental acuity, including whether those "senior moments" are infrequent or common should be apparent once the campaign spotlight turns onto him.

The severity of his melanoma, OTOH, is something McCain should be more open about. It may be no big deal (I've had several relatives with melanoma, it was caught early, treated, and that was it) or it may be problematic (my grandfather had recurring melanoma and required several rounds of surgery/treatment, and was never completely rid of it). Either way, it's one of many things people will factor in when deciding to vote, and I think it would be to McCain's benefit to give voters more information so they can make an informed decision, rather than leaving it up to the imagination.

Posted by: TEL1 | May 16, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I suspect they are already available as with everything else regarding the candidate. Now back to the old man who won't release his medical records.

*************
I wonder if someone should ask for Obama's lung x-ray since the man is known to smoke a pack and a half of those cancer causing cigarettes a day. You liberals make me laugh... haha

Posted by: Gary | May 16, 2008 12:11 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if someone should ask for Obama's lung x-ray since the man is known to smoke a pack and a half of those cancer causing cigarettes a day. You liberals make me laugh... haha

Posted by: Gary | May 16, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Of course McCain's age is and should be an issue......we're hiring a President here folks....not hiring a carryout person at the local supermarket! Well on the other hand, McCain will probably just carryout Bush's incompetent policies for the next four years!!

Posted by: dwatson1 | May 16, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

1)There's no doubt that Reagan developed Alzheimers during his presidency, the only question is when.

2)Given McCain's legendary temper, doesn't anyone worry about him having a stroke?

Posted by: Quickowit | May 16, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

> The average life-span of an American male is between 74 and 75 years

That is the life expectancy AT BIRTH. The life expectancy starting at an age greater than zero is, not surprisingly, greater.

Then again, given a history of cancer...

Posted by: Clem | May 16, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Michael Rose-
Actually, McCain's father was serving in the US Navy and stationed in Panama (?) at the time John was born. Children of US military members born outside the country because of their parent's duty assignments are absolutely 100% US citizens. This will not be an issue for McCain.

Posted by: VAReader | May 16, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I think more interesting than his age, McCain's ineligibility to serve as a president might be an issue during this campaign.

He is not a natural born citizen and therefore is constitutionally prevented from holding the office.

The founding fathers put that provision in for a good reason - they didn't want first-generation immigrants becoming the chief executive.

Until the constitution is ammended, I find it odd the the GOP would allow such a candidate to carry their flag.

Posted by: H. Michael Rose | May 16, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

The average life-span of an American male is between 74 and 75 years (depending on the study). So, as morbid as it sounds, there is a good chance that McCain will pass away during his first term as President, if elected. You bet, his age is a valid issue!

Posted by: VAReader | May 16, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

McCain's appearance of frequently failing to grasp issues or of failing to differentiate between groups like Suni and Shia is often attributed to his age. Baloney. He is no more incapable than he has always been.

He has never had the intellectual capacity for the nuances of issues. After all, this is a guy who finished THIRD FROM LAST in his class at the Naval Academy, and whose lifetime story of success is in his luck in being born to a Navy Admiral and marrying into an immensely wealthy family.

To the extent that McCain's inabilities are attributed to his age he gets a pass, much like the doddering, Alzheimer's stricken Ronald Reagan had to answer to nothing in his last term. When a President can neither grasp nor remember that his administration is providing illicit aid to a foreign military, it is difficult to hold him publicly accountable for it.

Thus, to the extent that McCain's highly visible shortcomings can be attributed to excessive age rather than inferior intellect and absence of reason, fewer people will be inclined to vote against him. Giving him the excuse of advancing age just makes his lack of talent and judgement more acceptable to the public.

Posted by: Stonecreek | May 16, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Old Crankypants has lost his bearings. He's switched positions on so many issues including torture, immigration, talking/not talking to Hamas, Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy, the GI Bill.

As a former Navy aviator, McCain ought to know exactly what "losing one's bearings" means - and it has nothing to do with age. However, if he doesn't REMEMBER what the term means....

I'm just sayin'

Posted by: lisa | May 16, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Age will become a legitimate issue if McCain keeps insisting that Obama is sleeping with Hamas or the Reverend Wright. Ramesh Ponnuru is already out this morning sniveling about how the media is muzzling McCain by equating criticism of Obama with racism. I have no idea where he comes by that, particularly given that the three cable news channels yesterday turned their airwaves over to McCain for a 40 minute political speech outlining his plans for America.

Believe me, if McCain continues to whisper these innuendoes that somehow Barak Obama is a Hamas "Manchurian Candidate"--thus putting himself in league with some of the most radical right wing crackpots--you bet his drift toward senility will become an issue.

Posted by: Jaxas | May 16, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

The larger question should be "WHERE ARE THE OLD COOTS MEDICAL RECORDS"? The American public already know that McSame is WAY TOO OLD to be effective what with his senior moments and Alzheimer's! So, Americans want to know "WHERE ARE MCSAME'S MEDICAL RECORDS WHICH WERE PROMISED IN APRIL"??? Can anyone in the MSM find the answer to this question or should we already know that the MSM backs McSame and therefore will not reply to this question!

Posted by: FedUpinVA | May 16, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Are there any disclosers about any medication Mccain may currently be on? Even the most benign medications come with warnings and side effects. Do we really want a president who may be incompasitaded from time to time even for a short time? Lets get serious here. I live in a retirement area and I have guys I do things with who are in great shape for their age but they are always having problems with one thing or another. We are supposed to play golf or something and I call and hear, "I am not really feeling that great today I am going to pass for the day". Now what does the president do in a crises? Say I will have to pass on that meeting today I am not feeling 100% today, let me know what happens? Lets get F'n real here, this is not a job for an old man PERIOD. His whole administration would consist of covering his maladies. Lying about why he hasn't been seen in public for a few weeks, always rumors about his physical and mental health and so on. This guy should not even be considered for the office. It is a joke, look at him.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Gary:
"I think a bigger issue then age would be someone who has sat in a church for 20 years listing to an anti-American bigot preach about hate. My God think about that folks.... we could have a President who's mentor and preacher thinks that the United States is responsible for AIDS. Pretty scarry stuff huh?"

I assume you're refering to McCain calling and asking for the endorsement of Pastor John Hagee of Texas?

McCain:
""I'm very honored by Pastor John Hagee's endorsement today," McCain said at a news conference. "He has been the staunchest leader of our Christian evangelical movement in many areas, but especially, most especially, his close ties and advocacy for the freedom and independence of the state of Israel."..."I think he's a fine leader (Hagee).

Hagee:
""Victory is within our grasp because John McCain knows it's never wrong to do the right thing,"...In his book "Jerusalem Countdown: A Warning to the World," Hagee predicts Russian and Arab armies will invade Israel and be destroyed by God. Israel will then be the site of a battle between China and the West, which will be led by the anti-Christ in his role as head of the European Union. Jesus Christ will return to Earth in the final battle, he writes...The book also claims Adolph Hitler and the Roman Catholic Church joined in a conspiracy to destroy the Jews.

http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSN2749859920080228

If I'm not mistaken Hagee wants war in the Middle East so he and his 19,000 followers will be taken into heaven...thus McCain is his man to bring on his prophecy of the war to end the world...


Posted by: DC | May 16, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

The song is in bad taste, but I don't see how McCain's age can not be an issue in the campaign. Aging and other health concerns that affect physical vigor, mental alertness, short-term memory, etc. are legitimate concerns when we elect someone to four years of such a high-pressure, difficult job.

Posted by: herzliebster | May 16, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

McCain changes his mind on every single issue... maybe he has Alzheimer's. He says he'll be Hamas' worst nightmare, but just 2 years ago, he said this:

"Two years ago, just after Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections, I interviewed McCain for the British network Sky News's "World News Tonight" program. Here is the crucial part of our exchange:

I asked: "Do you think that American diplomats should be operating the way they have in the past, working with the Palestinian government if Hamas is now in charge?"

McCain answered: "They're the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another, and I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy towards Hamas because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice, so . . . but it's a new reality in the Middle East. I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and decent future, that they want democracy. Fatah was not giving them that."

So is McCain a hypocrite, or senile?

Posted by: James Rubin | May 16, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Weak, yesterdays news. You need something better then that.


**************
I think a bigger issue then age would be someone who has sat in a church for 20 years listing to an anti-American bigot preach about hate. My God think about that folks.... we could have a President who's mentor and preacher thinks that the United States is responsible for AIDS. Pretty scarry stuff huh?

Posted by: Gary | May 16, 2008 9:29 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

McCain's age is absolutely fair game. The job of being President of the United States isn't like running a country store-- the job exacts a horrible price on the men who sit in the Oval Office. Look at how much W has aged over the past eight years. He barely looks like the same guy.

And McCain is *starting* this debilitating job at the age of 72?

Yeah, his mom might be in her 90s but I doubt her life in her early 70s was the tiniest bit as demanding as McCain's would be, if he were elected.

The campaign isn't least about who can handle the job. Age matters. McCain's age will be a significant point of discussion in the fall.

Posted by: DB | May 16, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I think a bigger issue then age would be someone who has sat in a church for 20 years listing to an anti-American bigot preach about hate. My God think about that folks.... we could have a President who's mentor and preacher thinks that the United States is responsible for AIDS. Pretty scarry stuff huh?

Posted by: Gary | May 16, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

If McCain's age is a fair target, then what about Clinton's or Obama's? Do we want a president that may not have enough experience or is not old enough to lead? Or do we want the first woman president to go down in presidential history as old?

Posted by: Me | May 16, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Juan McAmnesty should be in a old folks home. Sure not running for President. It remarkable how this Nation seems intent on always getting the worse to run for Public offices! At his best he was not very Smart Kinda on the Order of current Moron in the WH.

However the American hating Racist Lying Obama should be threw under the bus with his grandmother and the Rev. Weight!

Posted by: Black Saint J | May 16, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Sure his age and health are an issue--where are his health records? He refuses to release them. And besides that, he doesn't support our troops. He's willing to ask these kids to give their lives, but won't give them the education they were promised:

"Today, nine members of Iraq Veterans Against the War testified before the Congressional Progressive Caucus about their experiences fighting in the Iraq war. Kristofer Goldsmith, who served Sadr City and was stop-lossed after returning home, revealed that he had attempted suicide and was discharged. The discharge forced him to forfeit the educational benefits promised under the GI bill and thus his "one hope and dream" to go to college:

I was stop-lossed. My one hope and dream in the military was to go to college after I went through Iraq. I attempted suicide. I never deployed a second time. Because of that I received a general discharge. I lost my college benefits, the $40,000 promised to me in the Montgomery GI Bill, I will not be eligible to receive. And currently there is a Senator in Congress currently running for president, who is fighting to kill our Webb GI bill. And I'm one of the soldiers who will never get that money."

Of course, Goldsmith is referring to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who has steadfastly opposed Sen. Jim Webb's (D-VA) bipartisan attempt to dramatically expand educational benefits for returning veterans. In fact, McCain's own watered-down alternative, which reserves the most generous benefits to those who serve at least 12 years, would exclude soldiers like Goldsmith who suffered physical or psychological problems that made serving 12 years impossible."

Posted by: Charles | May 16, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Health is a issue when a person is trying to become the President of the United States. His health record should be made public! We need to know if John McCain is wearing diapers, if ear plugs are being used to feed him answers and if he can withstand a heart attack, when the phone rings in the Oval office at 3am.

Posted by: Earl | May 16, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Yes it matters...

NOt only that here is food for thought..

http://www.helpstartshere.org/Default.aspx?PageID=438

Interesting no?
I will pass on McCain

Posted by: Vance McDaniel | May 16, 2008 7:29 AM | Report abuse

"Just as bush got president and led america in a deep depression, it is possible that america chooses McCain, to prolonge this awfull state of depression and poverty. Unless the old man gets shot."
Posted by: jwh | May 16, 2008 3:12 AM

WHY IS THIS POST STILL UP??? I SUSPECT IT IS ILLEGAL TO SUGGEST SHOOTING A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE. IN ANY CASE IT IS AN UNACCEPTABLY SICK COMMENT.

Posted by: ws | May 16, 2008 6:45 AM | Report abuse

It is ok to vote for McCain, but just make sure he has a VP that you will also like as President. Because it just matters more in his case.

Posted by: Hamilton Bacon | May 16, 2008 6:21 AM | Report abuse

Back to back firsts.....8 years of mentally challenged (retarded) george bush followed by 4 (maybe) more years of a man who was actually present at the first continental congress. Wow, that's quite a feather in the gop cap.

Posted by: pj451 | May 16, 2008 5:54 AM | Report abuse

Age and health are legitimate issues in a Presidential race. In McCain's case age is obvious but so far he has been given a free pass on health by the press. Where are his health records?

Posted by: Jerry | May 16, 2008 4:18 AM | Report abuse

"Better get used to McCains age since he will be your next Pres now that women are jumping ship and will not vote for Obama, nor will Hispanics, nor will Jews, nor will Catholics, nor will a country that is 83% white."

This is not just untrue, it's offensive. I'm Jewish, and I'm one of the 68% of Washingtonians who caucused for Obama. I know lots of other Jews who voted and/or will vote for Obama too. I know scores of women supporting Obama too. Obama has substantial advantages over McCain with both Jews and women. The same is probably true of Hispanics too, but I don't recall the data. I have no idea what earthly reason would possess someone to say Jews or women wouldn't vote for Obama. I think it's more likely conservatives will stay home rather than vote for McCain.

Posted by: Jon Morgan | May 16, 2008 4:16 AM | Report abuse

Race is only related to health to the extent that it is linked to class. Socio-economic status is a better health predictor than race.

Posted by: Jon Morgan | May 16, 2008 3:58 AM | Report abuse

Age is an attribute, yes. But not always a good one. We already know McCain had melanoma in 2000, and a 72 year old is far likelier to develop something debilitating in the next 4 years than a 47 year old. It's not only a question of his condition now, it's what's likely or possible in a 4 year term.

Posted by: Jon Morgan | May 16, 2008 3:54 AM | Report abuse

In some societies being advanced in years is seen as an attribute. Age should only matter if you really do suffer from some sort of condition that is related to age. I think McCain should have to make his medical records public (and so should whoever the Democratic nominee and anyone else running for President).

Posted by: WB | May 16, 2008 3:32 AM | Report abuse

The ad is entertaining, and likely plays well with younger people like CC and me. But I also fear it would turn older voters off, and I especially don't want to cynically divide the public to win an election the way Republicans have been doing since their infamous Southern Strategy in 1968.

Age, though we need to be careful not to be ageist, is indeed a relevant issue. It goes to health and McCain's ability to do the whole job for a whole term. This is not a typical 40 hour a week job we're talking about; more like 90. It requires very long hours and very high stress levels, both of which take important tolls on a person's health. There are all kinds of statistics showing how mental and physical deterioration are more likely in advanced age--why else does life insurance cost so much for a 72 year old? My grandma is 86 and I love her very much, but she is not equipped to be president. We already saw how amiss things got with Reagan having Alzheimer's in his second term (the same age McCain would be in his first). Woodrow Wilson, after WWI, was incapacitated for over a year, and that was never disclosed to the public while he was president. His unelected, unappointed, unconfirmed wife ran the show. If McCain started developing a serious mental or physical health problem that obstructed his ability to serve as president, would he know it? Would he disclose it candidly? Would he relinquish the presidency to his VP? If John McCain got injured and fell into a coma, would Congress--for the first time ever--have to exercise its 25th Amendment duty to deem him unable to serve and designate the VP as Acting President?

I'm not sure age alone disqualifies McCain, but it is certainly an aggravating factor.

Posted by: Jon Morgan | May 16, 2008 3:16 AM | Report abuse

Just as bush got president and led america in a deep depression, it is possible that america chooses McCain, to prolonge this awfull state of depression and poverty. Unless the old man gets shot.

Posted by: jwh | May 16, 2008 3:12 AM | Report abuse

Have you guys ever thought that the main strategy of Al-Qaeda to destroy our country might be to foment a civil war?
The Clinton hillbilly-high school dropout supporters are the ones fomenting the racial strife.
They throw White against Black, and Latinos against Black. If you walk on any street of America today you will see that the Clinton HATE strategy is starting to bear fruit, as people from different races seem to be uneasy around each other.
So, are the Clinton supporters playing a role on the Al-Qaeda strategy to foment a racial civil war within the United States?
Only time will tell us, but surely this legacy of hate left by the Clinton supporters will not wash away fast.
Me and my friends we are cutting our relationships with all the Clinton supporters that we know, because we cannot handle their bitterness and hate.
Clinton's and their supporters are indeed bringing so much evil to our country, destroying families, friendships and whole communities, that I think will take a while to repair what they have destroyed.

Posted by: Are Hillbillies terrorists? | May 16, 2008 2:38 AM | Report abuse

Age is an important factor related to health

So is being black...

Does it matter that Obama is at increased risk of a heart attack? (esp given the pressures of the job he is seeking)

Although, I think McCain might be at a higher risk than Obama due to age.

I dunno, just throwing out some food for thought.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 16, 2008 2:22 AM | Report abuse

I think that he or his mother could become the oldest surviving member of the planet if he does not get us nuked first. Why he could have invented MAD. Anyway, I write as if it were my last day on earth.

Thing is he claims to have much national security background, scary. I don't like those old school national security programs one bit like duck taping and covering with plastic in the event of a massive bio-weapons attack ? What would the ducttape and cover do really, keep the stench down of rotting cadeavers ?

I don't like modern political or military propaganda. It's just wrong, ethically and morally wrong, especially in democracy. Shows we will go the law to uphold the law acting like our enemies.

If a man experiencing the unpleasantness of the cold wars, then that old man ought to remember the Church Commission and subsequent legislation like the creation of FISA itself. And let me add that other old men were there too, who I refer to as the usual suspects.

See these propagandas make me feel like a private citizen guinea pig back in the old days. And that feeling I have, feels illegal and it feels ethically and morally wrong.

So Senator Methusala has got alot of experience as witness the birth of the pop tart and slinkies too ? And with that age is she showing wisdom, forgetfulness, or complicity with the usual suspects ? I wonder. Because indeed, illegal is not a sick bird.

Posted by: Mark W. | May 16, 2008 1:59 AM | Report abuse

I don't think there's any question his age will be a factor. All you have to do is harken back to the days of Bob Dole and John Stockdale (Perot's VP. I think I got the name right)

Republicans seem to like the old, establishment guys (Nixon, Reagan, GWHB, Dole) GWB is a recent exception

I think the issue will come down to telegenicity. Reagan was the most telegenic of the bunch. Dole was probably the least. Election results seemed to follow accordingly.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 16, 2008 1:59 AM | Report abuse

Polls please

++++++++++++
The American electorate will be stradled by the two worst candidates in modern history. McCain's age does matter and like one person in these posts, pointed out that the Republicans knew that they would not win this election. However, if the Democrats nominate Obama, they are purposely loosing to the Republicans. True Hillary comes with a baggage, but compared to the other two, she shines. No wonder all polls show that she will win against McCain. I am sad to say that McCain will win by default.

Posted by: Stelios | May 16, 2008 1:48 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 1:53 AM | Report abuse

Yes, it's fair.

And, actually, relevant.

Posted by: David Saia | May 16, 2008 1:50 AM | Report abuse

The American electorate will be stradled by the two worst candidates in modern history. McCain's age does matter and like one person in these posts, pointed out that the Republicans knew that they would not win this election. However, if the Democrats nominate Obama, they are purposely loosing to the Republicans. True Hillary comes with a baggage, but compared to the other two, she shines. No wonder all polls show that she will win against McCain. I am sad to say that McCain will win by default.

Posted by: Stelios | May 16, 2008 1:48 AM | Report abuse

McCain is so old, he can not be accused of religious bigotry because he predates religion.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | May 16, 2008 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Per the fine research of jellybean, it is our belief that this person McCain is in actuality a clone, created by the Viet Cong from rat stomach stem cells and McCain's DNA. He will avenge we, the Mole People, and our desire to re-establish our kingdom, complete with moat and enslaved winches.

Posted by: pubichaironmycokecan | May 16, 2008 1:40 AM | Report abuse

"There's been plenty of sexist and ageist remarks from Obama's camp and those of us that are old and/or female are not happy about it. "

You're lying. Give one example of a sexist comment from Obama's camp.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 16, 2008 1:28 AM | Report abuse

You need to base your comments in some kind of reality. Mccain will lose and it may be by a very big margin. You just plain have a very weak, flawed candidate. He is a sacrificial lamb for the party in an election they knew they could not win. Look who the candidates were. None were real party heavy weights, just a bunch of losers.

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Better get used to McCains age since he will be your next Pres now that women are jumping ship and will not vote for Obama, nor will Hispanics, nor will Jews, nor will Catholics, nor will a country that is 83% white.

As a Dem I must say that putting down McCain for his age is disturbing and very much beneath the behavior of a Democrat. Wait, these aren't Democrats spouting these insults, these are the Obama cult members!

Posted by: henna | May 16, 2008 12:33 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Reagan was a great president, but toward the end of his term, he hardly knew where he was at times. And he was younger going into office than McCain would be. Age is definitely a factor and should be considered intensely.

Posted by: Joan | May 16, 2008 1:10 AM | Report abuse

If McCain serves 8 years, he would be 80 before leaving office. In our last experience with a elderly president, Ronald Reagan was, by many sccounts, in his early stages of Alzheimers while still commander in chief.

Age does have something to do with a person's ability and stamina to hold the toughest job in the world. Perhaps McCain is up to the job, perhaps not, but it is legitimate for voters to inquire about it.

Posted by: AlaninMissoula | May 16, 2008 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Better get used to McCains age since he will be your next Pres now that women are jumping ship and will not vote for Obama, nor will Hispanics, nor will Jews, nor will Catholics, nor will a country that is 83% white.

As a Dem I must say that putting down McCain for his age is disturbing and very much beneath the behavior of a Democrat. Wait, these aren't Democrats spouting these insults, these are the Obama cult members!

Posted by: henna | May 16, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Of course age will be a huge issue, and possibly the reasons McCain loses hugely in the fall. That's life folks. Until they cure the disease of old age and death, this reality is here to stay.

Posted by: Chief Two Dogs | May 16, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

On the upside, it won't take McCain long to answer that 3am phone call... he'll already be up, taking another piss.

;)

Of course age is a fair issue, as it relates to health and the ability to do the job. People aren't just thinking about his current age either... what about at the end of one term when he is 76? Or 80 after 2 terms?

I do think that the WAY in which it is spoken about is important. The Obama camp must not make out that all old people are stupid... mostly, because lots of them vote.

However, it is also fair to say that old people realise how their age has taken its toll on them. I also know old people who won't vote for McCain, because they realise that they couldn't remember where they put their keys at that age... and it is a slight problem if the President can't remember where he left his Oval Office...

Obama is going to win this in a landslide, and age will be one of many reasons.

Posted by: Boutan | May 15, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Some of it will be so ugly and not innuendo, he has a past. I can't believe he even wants to subject himself to it. His run reminds me of a dog chasing a car that stops. Somehow he has won this nomination and may not be sure he really wanted it in the first place. I think in the end he will lose and may never recover from it politically. It will be a sad end to his career.

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"Age continues to look like a major hurdle for McCain. Thirty-nine percent of Americans say they'd be uncomfortable with a president first taking office at age 72, far more than say they'd be uncomfortable with a woman (16 percent) or African-American (12 percent) as president." -- http://abcnews.go.com/PollingUnit/Vote2008/Story?id=4837828&page=2

Of course the Dems will go after Mac on his age. even sissy Democrats can't pass that up. Obama himself won't punch below the belt, and the party won't, but, you know, let[s be serious. McCain doesn't have to talk about the madrassa and Wright stuff and it's out there. The talk about McCain's physicl and mental health is out there too, and there will be lots more of it to come. Some of it will be ugly. Deal with it. That's politix.

Posted by: | May 15, 2008 10:37 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | May 15, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

In other countries, they revere their elders. Here, they make fun of them. Sad.

Posted by: rock | May 15, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

"Age continues to look like a major hurdle for McCain. Thirty-nine percent of Americans say they'd be uncomfortable with a president first taking office at age 72, far more than say they'd be uncomfortable with a woman (16 percent) or African-American (12 percent) as president." -- http://abcnews.go.com/PollingUnit/Vote2008/Story?id=4837828&page=2

Of course the Dems will go after Mac on his age. even sissy Democrats can't pass that up. Obama himself won't punch below the belt, and the party won't, but, you know, let[s be serious. McCain doesn't have to talk about the madrassa and Wright stuff and it's out there. The talk about McCain's physicl and mental health is out there too, and there will be lots more of it to come. Some of it will be ugly. Deal with it. That's politix.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 15, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I agree with everyone who thinks the ditty and video are tasteless.

I understand jnoel's fear of the "slippery slope." I do not fear a continuation of an established pattern, however.

G'night, y'all.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | May 15, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Listen, heres the bottom. Those on here who are republicans will vote for their candidate but please don;t fool yourselves about his quality. You are just stuck with a weak candidate that will take a monumental task to get him elected. That is just the way it is. You are just stuck with the guy like it or not but don't delude yourself about who and what the guy is. Good luck.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 15, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

I am afraid John Mccain was a known drug user as was his wife as well as a long time drunk who finished at the bottom of his class. He has a very hard time matching his intellect against Obama's of Mrs. Obama for that matter. That is not a game you really want to be playing. Mccain has a pretty checkered past to say the least. People he went to school who are his friends are very quick to tell you he was nothing but a party guy. Lets not even talk about the five planes he crashed by the way.

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What a terrible idea. But then again, as long as we can get into Obama's numerous risk factors for drug addiction and we can clear him of his untreated maladies and personal issues that he is harboring, I might be up for it. It makes sense to get a clear mental state profile on the person who has his finger on the button (especially a known drug user like Obama).

Posted by: Dave! | May 15, 2008 10:17 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | May 15, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I have to say again, they lost 49 of 50 states. They were never viable candidates. If historians say that is why they lost then I guess I do know better.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 15, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Rob - "...each candidate for the highest office in the land should be required to undergoe a comprehensive mental evaluation. "

What a terrible idea. But then again, as long as we can get into Obama's numerous risk factors for drug addiction and we can clear him of his untreated maladies and personal issues that he is harboring, I might be up for it. It makes sense to get a clear mental state profile on the person who has his finger on the button (especially a known drug user like Obama).

Posted by: Dave! | May 15, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

They just like the cleverness of it and it is a fun story to tell but had nothing to do with them losing. I hope you are not saying they could have won? There is also a HUGE distinction between the very loved RR and this turtle looking guy who really is not terribly likable John Mccain. There are not really any parallels with them at all other then their age.


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interesting that most every political historian points to that moment in the Mondale v Reagan debate just as with Ford's not under soviet domination debate moment,as the official end of the Mondale campaign, but of course you know better.

Posted by: Leichtman | May 15, 2008 10:03 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | May 15, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't care how old McCain is. I still don't like his policies.

Posted by: egc52556 | May 15, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

If you are "colin" the lawyer who used to post here, some of us would like to hear from you.
mark_in_austin@operamail.com.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | May 15, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Should Obama make age an issue? Yes, I think it is a perfectly legitimate issue. It should be spoken about if a man is too old & thoughtless to be President. He & McCain can have that debate. Obama has the right to slap it to him, and McCain can defend himself against the attacks. But if McCain's age is an issue, so then should be the fact that Obama's church rolls on a "Afro-centric" philosophy. Obama should be accountable for his churches race baiting & hating of the US gov't., the very nation that gives them the freedom to say such things. So should the fact that the church's new pastor has declared the rapper Tupac a prophet, declared Abraham a pimp & suggests that Moses is a thug. Also, the fact that Obama thinks that small town American's turn to religion & guns out of "bitterness." Just because he's a member of a church that has pastor's who are obviously bitter b/c they are black, he assumes every other church is the same.

You see, all of these things are & should be legitimate issues in this campaign. So much for changing Washington in Obama's campaign, it's back to politics as usual as this is likely how this campaign will play out.

Posted by: reason | May 15, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

interesting that most every political historian points to that moment in the Mondale v Reagan debate just as with Ford's not under soviet domination debate moment,as the official end of the Mondale campaign, but of course you know better.

Posted by: Leichtman | May 15, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

In addition to a complete physical exam, each candidate for the highest office in the land should be required to undergoe a comprehensive mental evaluation. They do so with fighter pilots and nuclear warhead workers, and it makes sense to get a clear mental state profile on the person who has his finger on the button (especially a known hothead and warmonger like McCain).

I suspect McCain has been harboring forty years' worth of untreated post-traumatic stress disorder from his Hanoi Hilton days, and at the very least should be cleared of this before he is in a position to exact pay-back on his enemy du jour.

Posted by: Rob | May 15, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Yes -- McCain's age is fair game but no, Barack Obama should not be talking about it, nor should any of his supporters that really are focused on prevailing in November. Let the media do the job and believe me, as McCain has a few senior moments as the campaign goes on --they shall do it.

Posted by: omyobama | May 15, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

That had nothing to do with him losing. Him and Geraldine A. Ferraro lost 49 of 50 states. They were the two most unelectable candadates maybe in history.

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mondale tried that very same approach and it backfired and ended his campaign with someone who likely was actually showing early signs of alzheimers. Some seniors will either sympathize with McCain or at the least will resent tasteless jokes or insults which they can identify with. Do you honestly think that a family touched by dimensia or alzheimers will think that tasteless comments about either will speak well for your candidate or that it appropriate for the nominee to bring up? Sometimes it is better to stand to the side and let it speak for itself, unfortunately there are many supporters who are determined to take insults and ridicule to its ridiculous extreme. And again don't presume that alzheimers or dimensia ignores middle age, if you do I will be happy to direct you to the alzheimers web site.Every policy issue favors the Dems this year, go down the low road and watch that disappear in a split second. If you truly wish for it to be an issue,imho let the media do your dirty work and stand on the sidelines.

Posted by: Leichtman | May 15, 2008 9:31 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | May 15, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

"A medical summary from a recent general physical exam should suffice. Releasing same has been standard practice for prez candidates for many years, I believe."

Yes, I agree. But should it be? And with the advances in medical technology at what point do some start showing interest in seeing something more revealing? If we are giving value to understanding a candidates' health status, why simply stop at a recent physical?
Voters will believe what they like about McCain based solely on his age whether he releases exam records or not. I still do not believe it should be a campaign issue. For those who feel his age is a campaign issue, do you also feel there should be an age where you can no longer run for President?

Posted by: JNoel002 | May 15, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

First, I assumed 'bearings' was a reference to McCain's Navy career. Haven't any journalists spent time on a ship? Bearings, set course, navigation - ring any bells?

Second, his age is indeed an issue. His mother's going strong, but both his father and grandfather died young. Being President, especially now, isn't a quiet desk job. A lot of stamina is required, as well as quick thinking. It's hardly a secret we all slow down as we age, in every way. I expect this issue is going to bother voters who are older themselves than those who are younger.

Third, I'm more concerned that he hasn't released his health records. He had melanoma, the 'bad' kind of skin cancer. Friends of mine in the medical professions are concerned, so I guess that means we should be concerned as well.

Posted by: Tom J | May 15, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Myra-"While many older individuals maintain their cognitive abilities well into their 80s and 90s, a new study out from Duke University states that 25% of the population over 72 years of age have at least some losses in mentation."

NIH says about 5 percent of men and women ages 65 to 74 have AD. It is also estimated that between 1% and 10% of all Alzheimers cases occur before age 65 (early onset). African Americans are significantly more likely to develop AD and Dimentia than whites. Obama has been forgetting what state he has been campaigning in recently. Since Dementia is often characterized by a sudden onset coupled with rapid deterioration, do we need that diagnosis sitting in the oval office making decisions for our nation?

Posted by: Dave! | May 15, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

mondale tried that very same approach and it backfired and ended his campaign with someone who likely was actually showing early signs of alzheimers. Some seniors will either sympathize with McCain or at the least will resent tasteless jokes or insults which they can identify with. Do you honestly think that a family touched by dimensia or alzheimers will think that tasteless comments about either will speak well for your candidate or that it appropriate for the nominee to bring up? Sometimes it is better to stand to the side and let it speak for itself, unfortunately there are many supporters who are determined to take insults and ridicule to its ridiculous extreme. And again don't presume that alzheimers or dimensia ignores middle age, if you do I will be happy to direct you to the alzheimers web site.Every policy issue favors the Dems this year, go down the low road and watch that disappear in a split second. If you truly wish for it to be an issue,imho let the media do your dirty work and stand on the sidelines.

Posted by: Leichtman | May 15, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you could get Ted Kennedy to drive him to the old folks home.

Posted by: 1ahead | May 15, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I live in Florida and I can tell you, old people are the first to say he is too old. They more then anybody can identify with what it is like to be that old and they don't want him. It is ridiculous to think old people will vote for someone because they are old also.

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insulting seniors will backfire with Fla and Pa voters and there are folks in there 40s and 50s with dimensia, I have seen them in my mom's nursing home and its truly sad.Alzheimers is almost in epidemic proportions in this country and I am sure millions of families in this country have been touched by it and won't think cheap shots that relate to their family members is humorous in the least. I can guarantee you there there are likely millions of Obama families touched by dimensia and alzheimers, and would be curious to hear from them. There are many reasons to oppose McCain but attacking him for his age is really taking the low road, and especially if it comes from a campaign claiming its practicing New Politics. Anyone who has lost a family member or members to dimensia or alzheimers doesn't think making jokes about those issues is appropriate. If you want to attack McCain regarding his stands on Iraq, healthcare, or taxes that is just fine but in mho attacking his age will certainly cost you Fla and will not play well in Pa with a very large senior population. I am not here to defend McCain but think that if you intend to defeat him that you should take the high ground, and I am guessing the 2 D candidates would agree with that.

Posted by: Leichtman | May 15, 2008 8:38 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | May 15, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Obamas race in no way can make him incoherent and unable to fulfill the duties of the job. If you are going to make analogies they need to be a little smarter. Sorry nice try.

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if they attack mccain's age, the right should attack obama's race, period. ask him about imus, jena 6, bloods and crips, tookie, oj, etc.

Posted by: max | May 15, 2008 8:11 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | May 15, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

And this poll says it all. You won't believe these results!

http://www.votenic.com

Posted by: votenick | May 15, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

insulting seniors will backfire with Fla and Pa voters and there are folks in there 40s and 50s with dimensia, I have seen them in my mom's nursing home and its truly sad.Alzheimers is almost in epidemic proportions in this country and I am sure millions of families in this country have been touched by it and won't think cheap shots that relate to their family members is humorous in the least. I can guarantee you there there are likely millions of Obama families touched by dimensia and alzheimers, and would be curious to hear from them. There are many reasons to oppose McCain but attacking him for his age is really taking the low road, and especially if it comes from a campaign claiming its practicing New Politics. Anyone who has lost a family member or members to dimensia or alzheimers doesn't think making jokes about those issues is appropriate. If you want to attack McCain regarding his stands on Iraq, healthcare, or taxes that is just fine but in mho attacking his age will certainly cost you Fla and will not play well in Pa with a very large senior population. I am not here to defend McCain but think that if you intend to defeat him that you should take the high ground, and I am guessing the 2 D candidates would agree with that.

Posted by: Leichtman | May 15, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Not only is McCain's age an issue for the office of president of the US, I am also concerned about his current health. Whenever I see that large lump and scar on his left jaw I am reminded of his past cancer experiences. His age, coupled with his past skin cancer, scares the heck out of me. I am 66 and golf 4-5 times a week for exercise, yet I realize I will never recapture the many things that I have lost due to my aging process. We see how the presidency ages a politician after 2-3 years in office. It's clearly a job for a person much younger than John McCain.

Posted by: Heist2 | May 15, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I think the youtube video you mention is both catchy and unfair. But I also think the response by the McCain camp to Sen. Barack Obama's (Ill.) statement that McCain had "lost his bearings" regarding McCain's criticism of Obama for the Hamas endorsement of Obama, is also unfair.

However it also might show how McCain plans to make "lemonade out of lemons." He will often accuse Obama of purposely injecting age into the Presidential race to put Obama on the defense, and also curry favor with older voters. Older voters are generally more conservative and turn out in greater percentages than young voters.

Posted by: Instructor 5 | May 15, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

if they attack mccain's age, the right should attack obama's race, period. ask him about imus, jena 6, bloods and crips, tookie, oj, etc.

Posted by: max | May 15, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I saw my mother who ran a multi million dollar company. Who at the age of 67 seemed pretty good, within 2 years she didn't know who I was at times, by 70 was in her own world. We can't have an old man of 72 making life and death decisions, this is a bad mistake for them to have nominated him.

((((((((

Yes, it is fair for voters to discuss and make decisions concerning John McCain's age. While many older individuals maintain their cognitive abilities well into their 80s and 90s, a new study out from Duke University states that 25% of the population over 72 years of age have at least some losses in mentation. As an issue, it is certainly fair game. After all, Dementia is often characterized by a sudden onset coupled with rapid deterioration. Do we need that diagnosis sitting in the oval office making decisions for our nation? It is a fair issue for discussion and each voter should be able to decide it's importance or lack or importance at the time they vote.

Posted by: Myra | May 15, 2008 8:00 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | May 15, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

This age issue is a red herring that will be used by surrogate groups even while the party declares innocence. If you think McCain is old, what about New Jersey, they have a senator running for re-election that is 84 years old now? Every dirty trick will be pulled out of the bag come serious campaign time. I would rather have an old codger running this country than a wet behind the ears freshman senator with no determinable attributes besides the ability to speak like a minister preaching from the pulpit. All parables and promises and no substance. Follow on you lemmings, the Lead Lemming is calling.

Posted by: pmichaelis | May 15, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse


Isn't Mccain refusing to release some records that have been requested?

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"Should every candidate have their DNA scanned for potential health risks or problems?"

No.

A medical summary from a recent general physical exam should suffice. Releasing same has been standard practice for prez candidates for many years, I believe.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | May 15, 2008 7:59 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | May 15, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it is fair for voters to discuss and make decisions concerning John McCain's age. While many older individuals maintain their cognitive abilities well into their 80s and 90s, a new study out from Duke University states that 25% of the population over 72 years of age have at least some losses in mentation. As an issue, it is certainly fair game. After all, Dementia is often characterized by a sudden onset coupled with rapid deterioration. Do we need that diagnosis sitting in the oval office making decisions for our nation? It is a fair issue for discussion and each voter should be able to decide it's importance or lack or importance at the time they vote.

Posted by: Myra | May 15, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

"Should every candidate have their DNA scanned for potential health risks or problems?"

No.

A medical summary from a recent general physical exam should suffice. Releasing same has been standard practice for prez candidates for many years, I believe.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | May 15, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

That is defiantly going to come up that he finished at the bottom of his class. Not to mention spent much of his time drunk. People are going to learn who John Mccain is over the next few months and many will be surprised.

http://www.dailypaul.com/node/32504

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In seventy two years when has Senator McCain ever demostrated leadership skills ? Surely not at the academy where he was granted entry under some kind of affirmative action, put in place by his grand father, and father.Even with a great head start he finished 894 0ut of 899.

Posted by: rentamob | May 15, 2008 7:46 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | May 15, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm 58 and have guys I play tennis with who are in their 60's but, Mccain does not look like a good 72. He looks terrible and even if he is in great condition, perception becomes reality and he looks like death warmed over. Standing on a stage next to Obama it will be a staggering image. That alone will be worth 10 points.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 15, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

In seventy two years when has Senator McCain ever demostrated leadership skills ? Surely not at the academy where he was granted entry under some kind of affirmative action, put in place by his grand father, and father.Even with a great head start he finished 894 0ut of 899.

Posted by: rentamob | May 15, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is so old he lost money betting on Goliath.

(I admit I stole the joke: http://johnmccainissoold.wordpress.com/)


Posted by: Samantha | May 15, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Mark, I can understand why someone would consider age/health as a campaign issue because it could affect how a candidate performs in the office. My concern is where do we draw the line? Should every candidate have their DNA scanned for potential health risks or problems? Doesn't this line of thinking (that candidates health is an issue) lead down a rather slippery slope?

Posted by: JNoel002 | May 15, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

You have to wonder about how the Democrats always shoot themselves in the foot. First Hillary with her make-believe Bosnian adventure, then Obama with his preacher, and now this.

Check out the voter turnout percentages among age groups. Insulting voters who are older than the things mentioned in this video is absolutely stupid.

Posted by: Catawba | May 15, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

No. Discomfort with his age is just as discriminatory as discomfort with Obama's race or Hillary's gender.

Posted by: Beth | May 15, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

jnoel, while age is just a number and the Ds who attack "72" risk alienating a huge number of voters gratuitously, melanoma is cancer and we should know about it in McC's case.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | May 15, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely, age is important in a presidential campaign. I am +65 and would be very leery of voting for someone over 70 to lead this country. A previous post mentioned Reagan's mental health...that is important. The issue of physical stamina and health is important. But, more important is that is the time for a generational shift in leadership. The issues facing our world in 2012 or 2016 and the ability to deal with them should be our concern...and I doubt that a man or woman facing 80 is up to it.

Posted by: politically correct old-timer | May 15, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | May 15, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

What you say was never so evident then watching the Clinton campaign. They were at least 20 years behind the times. They just didn't have a clue. Even the youtube factor and think you could say something and then just deny it. We saw this repeated at least a dozen times especially with Bill Clinton and the Clintons just didn't get it. Everything they say now is seen by the world. I would say that if youtube was around in 1992, Bill could have never gotten elected the first time. As he is saying Paula Jones is lying, we could do as we can now see her passing a lie detector test.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxKA4k_oD5o

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With age comes wisdom, i.e. learning over time. John McCain may be at that point in his life where he has reached his capacity for learning. Our culture, and the world in general, is moving at an ever increasing rate. I think it is in the best interests of our nation to have a president who has the capacity to accept, process and analyze the ever changing dynamics of America's role in the international arena in order to provide a path of prosperity for all Americans and to ensure that we (America) and all nations provide an environment of peace and prosperity for everyone in this and future generations. I truely admire John McCain, but I feel that we need a president who can move us forward into the 21st century. That person is Brack Obama. He is a quick learner and I believe will bring about an administration that will include *ALL* Americans. I strongly feel that the time of "either you're with us or you're against us" is over. I think that John McCain can contribute as an advisor to the next administration, but not as president.
Go Obama!

Posted by: Ed30041 - Cumming, GA | May 15, 2008 6:41 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | May 15, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

What you say was never so evident then watching the Clinton campaign. They were at least 20 years behind the times. They just didn't have a clue. Even the youtube factor and think you could say something and then just deny it. We saw this repeated at least a dozen times especially with Bill Clinton and the Clintons just didn't get it. Everything they say now is seen by the world. I would say that if youtube was around in 1992, Bill could have never gotten elected the first time. As he is saying Paula Jones is lying, we could do as we can now see her passing a lie detector test.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxKA4k_oD5o

Posted by: Anonymous | May 15, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Without an age joke every night, who will laugh at david Letterman? does anyone actually still find an insulting comic funny? Perhaps teenage boys.

Posted by: kingofzouk | May 15, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Sen. McCain's age will become an issue only if he begins doing 'old' things or has 'senior moments' in the debates. Campaigning itself will show that this issue is valid or will do it in.

"Mccain's mom wasn't tortured for 6 years by the viet cong." Neither was the Senator. He was tortured by the North Vietnamese Army, successors to the Viet Minh.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | May 15, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

With age comes wisdom, i.e. learning over time. John McCain may be at that point in his life where he has reached his capacity for learning. Our culture, and the world in general, is moving at an ever increasing rate. I think it is in the best interests of our nation to have a president who has the capacity to accept, process and analyze the ever changing dynamics of America's role in the international arena in order to provide a path of prosperity for all Americans and to ensure that we (America) and all nations provide an environment of peace and prosperity for everyone in this and future generations. I truely admire John McCain, but I feel that we need a president who can move us forward into the 21st century. That person is Brack Obama. He is a quick learner and I believe will bring about an administration that will include *ALL* Americans. I strongly feel that the time of "either you're with us or you're against us" is over. I think that John McCain can contribute as an advisor to the next administration, but not as president.
Go Obama!

Posted by: Ed30041 - Cumming, GA | May 15, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Age unfortunately is not a defendable issue. He is old and all it will take is a few things to happen during the campaign to make it a big issue. Remember this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWib8GbrIlA

Posted by: Anonymous | May 15, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Of course it will be a campaign issue. Everything possible will be a campaign issue. If McCain pulls a Ronald Reagan by using humor to diffuse the argument (RR said of his opponent, Walter Mondale, "I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience." then he will be more than alright. He'll even get a few points for it.

Posted by: ccarter | May 15, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Except for late night comedians, the only ones talking about age is the Mccain camp. I would say they have made it fair game and it will and should be an issue. Just look across the dinner table tonight at grandpa and ask yourself etc.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 15, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I do not think age should be a campaign issue in the general election, however, I believe it could have an effect on some voters. I also think McCain's health should be a non-issue. I think it is unfair to base your vote on the relative health of the individual in question. I certainly would not want my employer digging through my health records. There has to be some expectation of privacy, even for a public figure like the President.

Posted by: JNoel002 | May 15, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Many things may not be mentioned about Obama the perfect knight but apparently it is alright to use McCain's torture as a POW has a point against him? That entails some really warped thinking.

Posted by: Another Old Guy | May 15, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

McCain's age is not the issue. It is the effects of old age that are of concern.

The only talk I hear in the media and from McCain himself is referencing his 96 year old mom. She does seem vibrant for her age but she is only one parent. What about McCain's father? McCain's father died at 70. McCain is 71 and was a former Vietnam POW. He may have 2 to 10 years of life expentancy left, not to mention deterioation of his mental faculties.

This will be a big issue in the mind of the voters as well as McCain's VP nominee.

Obama in 08!

Posted by: AJ | May 15, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

One would hope that this video actually does underestimate the taste of the American voter.

Posted by: MoreAndBetterPolls | May 15, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

While the fact that he's old shouldn't play a part, his health definitely should, as well as the fact that he might not be too familiar with current technology and might not have modern day values.

Posted by: Dan | May 15, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

His age, per se, should not be an issue, but his health is definitely on the table for discussion.

Posted by: jm | May 15, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I think it is wrong to use such tactics.Everyone needs to be judged by their character.I am a democrat and I don't like Karl Rove tactics.

Posted by: NE Philly | May 15, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Sure. Age, sex, race, religion, etc. We have to be able to label them somehow or they'll all seem the same, won't they?

Posted by: Bob | May 15, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

There's been plenty of sexist and ageist remarks from Obama's camp and those of us that are old and/or female are not happy about it. Do you really want to alienate women and older Americans? I hear Obama wants to get rid of all special interests...I suppose that includes AARP? As far as misspeaking, it seems that Obama has made his fair share of gaffes such as the recent "57 states" and calling women "sweetie" plus mixing up Iraq with Iran. Finally, as far as health, we should be more worried about Obama since he is a smoker.

Posted by: AB | May 15, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Of course it is fair game (just as Obama's lack of experience is fair game). With all this talk about his age, I have yet to see any reporter who travels with McCain ever write that he lacks energy or looks run down. Indeed, the people who cover him seem amazed at his ability to campaign as strongly as he does.

Posted by: Top Dawg | May 15, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Eh? What did he say?
McCain's rage is the same as champaign?!?
Does McCain's rage appear the same in a Ball Game???

Of course it's an issue. If too young and inexperienced is an issue, too old, damaged goods and set in his ways is fair game. On the other hand, accusing McCain of fathering mixed race children out of wedlock, that's beyond the pale.. but only a repulsive, lying immoral slime bucket would do something like that.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 15, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely it is a fair issue. If bowling, arugula (sp?), Hamas "endorsements," and Sen. Obama's penchant for not eating junk food can somehow be held against him (not to mention the totally scurrilous reports that he is a Muslim), how can we NOT question Sen. McCain's age? It is a completely legitimate question to ask. The presidency is the most demanding job in the world (or it was until Jan. 20, 2001) and I for one want to be darn sure that the man who serves is not going to pull a Pres. Reagan on us and "forget" the entire Iran Contra affair.

Posted by: BG | May 15, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is also older than McDonalds...


haha

Posted by: 1936 | May 15, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is also older than FM radio, according to the groups other video...

haha

Posted by: 1936 | May 15, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Mccain's mom wasn't tortured for 6 years by the viet cong.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 15, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter if we think it's fair or not. The issue will keep being brought up by Obama's surrogates because they know that negative attacks have an effect, and they're not about to refrain from using them whenever possible, and claiming to take the high road at the same time.

People have already decided if this is an issue for them, or not. It's not like anybody just suddenly realized he's older than Obama. Hey! What a revelation! Continued harping on it only makes Obama look bad.


As for me, I'll take the older, wiser, experienced candidate any day over a neophyte rookie who can't decide his way out of a paper bag.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 15, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

McCain's mother is sharp as nails and still going strong.


Chris, relax, what are you worried about?


.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | May 15, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

McCain's mother is sharp as nails and still going strong.


Chris, relax, what are you worried about?


.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | May 15, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

"Is McCain's age fair game in the fall campaign?"

When McCain's campaign takes offense at the Senator's loss of marbles, it is they who are making age the issue. I think that is a mistake.

If the candidate continues to make mistakes like confusing the Shi'a and Sunni, they will need to develop a better explanation than "It's not fair to bring up his age."

Posted by: bsimon | May 15, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

1936

Posted by: 1936 | May 15, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Did the McCain campaign ever release his detailed health records? I know they've delayed doing so at least a couple times this spring, and I never heard that the records have been released.

Posted by: novamatt | May 15, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I thought Barack Obama was a different type of candidate. I would much rather have "same old" politics, than a President that makes fun of and belittles people. Just think what would be said if McCain or Hillary supporters said a strong wind would blow him over so we know what repubs in congress will do. Maybe we should bring weight into it as well.

Posted by: Sarah | May 15, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

If Hamas "endorsing" Obama is fair game then McCain's age is definitely fair game, but Barack Obama's campaign will not bring it up.

Posted by: Colin | May 15, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Ouch! That video is sharp... I think age is a legitimate issue, but perhaps not for any of the reasons in this song. I don't care that Bambi and the Golden Gate Bridge are younger, or that he is 1 1/2 times older than Obama. I care that he's of sound mind and can make good decisions. Saying he's lost his bearings doesn't bring age into it (regardless of what Salter says). If we said Bush has lost his bearings (and he has, long ago), would anyone accuse us of bringing age into it? So long as McCain is capable and fit, and he seems to have more energy than most 30- somethings, I don't think it's a problem. But it is fair question to ask.

Posted by: erikpdumont | May 15, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Age is certainly a legitimate issue but even in this age of political incivility the video seems to cross the line. That song asks if he still gets erections! I guess that's supposed to be funny but it's also coarse and further puts our political discourse in the gutter.

Posted by: MatthewT | May 15, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Of course, Sen. McCain's age is a fair campaign issue as is his compromised health. I don't think the Dems need to do much to raise either issue; just let Barack Obama -- sleek, vigorous, vibrant, alert and energetic -- trot out on stage and that image does the trick.

McCain can't claim to have vast experience and then try to run away from his own history when it is pointed out that he got all that experience through service in the Vietnam war in the 60's and in Congress since the 80's. The guy is just plain old, no way around it.

Posted by: dee | May 15, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

JakeDs - "John McCain is so old, his social security number is 12."

Same as the IQ required for this joke.

Posted by: Dave! | May 15, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse


OK I tell you what - how about if John McCain offers to not hold Obama's age against him ???


.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | May 15, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I thought that the earlier post demonstrated that Obama was able to control his campaign message. From that we can assume Obama approves of this ad. If someone has an legitimate issue of McCain's capacity to be president due to failing mental abilities, they should bring it up as that is legit. Making fun of people just because they are old(er) is in poor taste. In what appears to be a re-occuring theme, I thought Obama was running a new kind of campaign...but apparently not.

Posted by: Dave! | May 15, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Only to whatever degree one thinks that health is a valid issue as well.

Most 72 year olds I have known have been perfectly mentally fit people and were physically capable of doing office work and traveling.

However, the memory of Ronald Reagan's obvious signs of Alzheimers Disease during his last years in office certainly makes me think twice about sending someone of that age into the Oval Office without periodic checks for Alzeimers symptoms, reports of which should be made available to the public. McCain's physical health records should be his own business, as the details of the tortures he suffered as a POW should not be waved around in such a way. But I want to see current mental health records, especially in light of McCain's recent and bizarre episodes of appearing confused during remarks such as those about al Queda and Iran.

Posted by: Jackson Landers | May 15, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

If the candidate wears an adult diaper and messes up key facts, do you want that senile fool asnwering the 3am call? Yes, McCain's age is a legitimate factor.

Posted by: Playa | May 15, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Of course his age is fair game. They guy is going to run the country, and there are companies that require middle management to retire at 70.

And the GOP can avoid talking about McCain's age -- which could affect his performance -- when they stop talking about Barack Hussein Osama and playing the race card.

Posted by: Noonan | May 15, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is so old, his social security number is 12.

Posted by: JakeD's shadow | May 15, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

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