Today John McCain
is 72. And as a birthday present to himself, he chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
, 44, as his VP. If McCain were to be elected in November, he'd surpass Ronald Reagan's 69 years and seize the cane of honor as the oldest U.S. president in history.
There's an obvious hazard here: 2004 data from the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
put the average lifespan for a U.S. white male at just 75.2 years, which means Palin would be just a pretzel choke
away from the presidency.
Commenting on McCain's choice, Multnomah County Commissioner Jeff Cogen
gives weight to the statistic this morning when he told Dem spokesman Sahar Wali, “We wouldn't put a two year county commissioner of Multnomah County a single heartbeat away from the presidency, especially when you consider that John McCain is twenty three years older than the State of Alaska.”
Cogen's comment underscores how the campaign narrative has been rescripted this morning. Rather than a "Hope vs. Experience" battle, undecided voters (who are
you, anyway?) now have to consider the potential presidency of two candidates in their 40s. Here are their vitals:
: University of Idaho
Christian Assemblies of God
1992-1996 part-time Mayor of Wasilla, AK (a town of less than 9,000). 2006-present: Governor of Alaska, the largest state in the nation and the fourth-least populous (about as many people as Multnomah County).
: Columbia University and Harvard Law School
Political Science with a specialization in International Affairs.
United Church of Christ
Illinois State Legislator: 1997-2004, U.S. Senator 2005-present
So who's the "inexperienced" ticket now? You can bet two different answers will be spinning your way.