Respect For Elders
Reader Larry King doesn't have too much trouble with John McCain's politics, but he does have a problem with his age. I agree it's a huge negative for his campaign, but I feel the opposite. I'm quite troubled by McCain's politics and question if he has the proper temperament, but his age doesn't bother me.
I admit he's not nearly as healthy and hearty as Clinton or Bush--in fact, he's fairly frail--but this job isn't ditch digging. It's not even like being in Congress, where you've got to hunker down for days and make deals. Also, you've got a huge staff around you to lean on if need be.
We don't hire a President because he promises to put in the most hours. I'd pay most politicians to work less. What counts in a President, above all, is getting the big things right. (Knowing how to get stuff done is also helpful, and McCain's good at that.) But what you need for that is a sound mind, not body.
McCain wouldn't be the oldest President. He'd be younger than Reagan was in his second term. (There's a rumor Reagan was suffering from dementia during his final years in office, but it's not true, though his hearing loss did occasionally make him appear out of it. Of course, the Left was mocking his age and sanity before he was even elected.) The odds he'll stay mentally alert during his four years--and another four if we pick up his option--are quite good. True, you never know, but you can never be sure anyway. We've had extremely ill presidents before--Cleveland, Wilson, Eisenhower, Reagan. We've also had a number of deaths. But unless someone is very sick while he's running (Paul Tsongas?) I don't think worrying about these things should be a major consideration.