Thursday, October 9, 2008


Most of the noise about Obama's youth and McCain's, uh, maturity have focused on the negatives of both. Obama's barely out of diapers, and McCain's practically back in them. Obama needs Joe Biden to burp him after meals and make sure he gets his naps; McCain needs Sarah Palin to floss his dentures and make sure he gets his naps.

This sentence, which is really an afterthought in this story about McCain's age, has me rethinking the Obama's youth in light of history:

Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, is 47 and the fourth-youngest major party nominee. (emphasis added)
OK, who were the younger three?
  1. JFK, who took office at age 44
  2. Teddy Roosevelt, who took office after winning his own term at age 46 and 4-plus months
  3. Bill Clinton, who took office at age 46 and 5 months
Even though I think Clinton was made more historically attractive by his good fortune to come between the two dismal Bushes, that's a pretty good trio. If you look at the entire list of U.S. Presidents, especially those from the resolutely mediocre century between 1837 and 1933 (with exceptions, of course), those three look magnificent. What we really need is more youth and vigor.

Of course, insight and knowledge are still essential, too, which is why I'm not in favor of Obama-Palin.

You might also notice that all three of the previous young candidates won.

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