Last week Sen. John McCain repeatedly and falsely claimed that Iran was training al Qaeda in Iraq. Watch FOX News’ Brit Hume defend McCain’s blip as merely a “senior moment.”
Ouch. If even McCain’s most ardent boosters acknowledge his age is an issue, that doesn’t bode well for McCain or the nation. A President McCain would turn 76 before the end of his first term, and 80 before the end of his second, making him the oldest man ever to be elected president of the United States, and potentially the oldest man ever to serve. I emphasize “potentially” because nearly three-quarters of our previous 43 presidents failed to see their 80th birthday.
And this certainly wasn’t McCain’s only “blip” on the campaign trail, where he has at times appeared angry, unstable, confused, out-of-touch, and well… just plain old. None of this is necessarily a sign of encroaching dementia or Alzheimers per se, but most of us who have watched our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents grow old understand that mental changes, if not actual decline are a familiar part of aging, and that such “McCain Moments” are not all that uncommon. My own mother is about McCain’s age, and while I love her dearly, I wouldn’t elect her president, and I sure as hell wouldn’t want her finger on the button. (My 11-year-old daughter isn’t too keen even about having her grandparents behind the wheel of a car.)
Anybody who remembers the Reagan administration must admit that there was a noticeable mental decline over his eight years in office… and Reagan was three years younger than McCain will be on election day. I’m just sayin’.