Obama supporter Sen. Claire McCaskill was on ABC’s This Week program this morning, and she basically called John McCain old and said that his age is a fact that must be dealt with.
Sen. McCaskill (D-MO) was asked if it was fair game to bring in McCain’s age. She replied, “I think what we’re talking about is a reality. Other people talk about his melanoma. We’re talking about a reality here that we have to face. This is someone who is going to be one heartbeat away from the presidency. All of us know it. I just think it is the facts, and that’s something that we need to start focusing are the facts instead of distortions and lies.”
Carly Fiorina of the McCain campaign responded by saying that the liberal media of the New York Times is evidence that the Democratic Party is in full throated panic over Sarah Palin, and then tried to change the topic to Palin. Fiorina accused the Democrats of ageism, “I frankly find this disrespectful in the extreme. This is ageism. All you need to do is look at the schedule that John McCain has kept for the last two years to realize that he is one of the most vigorous energetic campaigners, in my judgment out there.”
So the McCain campaign’s strategy is to cry ageism if anybody talks about McCain’s age, and sexism if anyone speaks critically of Sarah Palin. The fact is that everybody knows that McCain is old. I don’t think it is ageism to ask if a 73 year old man, who has had cancer twice can handle the most stressful job in the world. There is also nothing wrong with pointing out that his running mate seems to have no clue on most of the issues.
The McCain campaign has been very successful with the strategy of avoiding facts, by putting up a smokescreen of distortions and lies. Speaking of lies, let’s address the lie of McCain’s vigorous schedule. McCain’s schedule is so vigorous that he doesn’t work weekends. If he does hold a weekend event, it is just that one event. How are we supposed to believe that McCain can handle a 24 hour a day/365 days a year job, when he can’t even campaign for seven days a week?
The reality is that it is highly unlikely that McCain could serve eight effective years in the White House. He is too old, and instead of choosing an experienced running mate who could ease concerns about his age, they chose Palin, who is the most inexperienced running mate in modern political history. Because of the selection of Palin, I think all of this is fair game.
Remember, ageism is defined as discrimination based on age. No one is saying that McCain is too old to run for president. It is fair to ask if McCain’s age would hinder him from doing the job. This is a question that the Democrats should be asking, but I would ask it gently, and not push it too hard.
Watch the full video here