Are we entering the “Age of McCain”—eight years in which America, itself seemingly gentrifying and on the decline, is led by a septuagenarian president who is fast heading toward the age of 80?
Or are voters starting to register the advanced age of McCain—and how he represents the past, and simply does not have the stamina or mental alertness, to lead the country in difficult times?
Christopher Hitchens noted, in McCain’s last debate with Obama, signs that McCain is obviously showing his age:
Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear had to feel sorry for the old lion on his last outing and wish that he could be taken somewhere soothing and restful before the night was out. The train-wreck sentences, the whistlings in the pipes, the alarming and bewildered handhold phrases—”My friends”—to get him through the next 10 seconds. I haven’t felt such pity for anyone since the late Adm. James Stockdale humiliated himself as Ross Perot’s running mate.
This is only going to get worse as the election’s pace intensifies toward its conclusion. I think that Republican McCain’s age has yet to fully come into the consciousness of the electorate—but when it does, it will prove fatal to his presidential hopes.
The times are simply too tumultuous to be led by someone who doesn’t know how to go on the Internet, who thinks of the world in Cold War terms, and who is obviously suffering the ravages of age (loss of mental acuteness and physical stamina).
These are not things that we can simply sweep under the rug.
The country cannot afford to.