Tuesday, June 17, 2008

McCain Too Old to be President?

Obama won't say it but I will. The job of being President requires vigor. We cannot afford to elect someone who could be too weak physically to do the job. His mental lapses raises serious questions. John F. Kennedy might have been too sickly to be President in 1960. Reagan showed signs of Alzheimer's while in office. It is a legitimate issue:

According to a new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, voters who do not like John McCain feel that way not because of the type of person he is, but because of his beliefs.

John McCain’s negatives among registered voters hit an all time high of 34 percent in a recent NBC/Wallstreet Journal poll.

The recent Pew Research Center poll asked voters to describe McCain in one word. The poll found the most common word voters associated with McCain was “old”. “Maverick”, “reformer”, “change”, and “independent” were not the words that came to voters minds.

McCain some how did manage to get voters to say; "honest," "experienced," "patriot," and "conservative".

Obama was able to use Hillary Clinton’s experience in the primary as a negative and could potentially use it against McCain as well. Voters do not see McCain as the change candidate and his experience in Washington could be used to show he is just another insider.

This from CNN:
Listen to some Democrats, and you'll think the 71-year-old Arizona senator is a man lost in a perpetual fog. He is "confused" and has "lost his bearings" or is "out of touch."

Listen to the McCain campaign, and you'll be convinced that Democrats are using those terms to exploit concerns that the presumptive Republican nominee is too old to effectively serve as president.

For his part, McCain tends to answer questions about his age with quips such as, "I'm older than dirt and have more scars than Frankenstein, but I've learned a few things along the way."

The first salvo of the general election's age war may have been launched in May, when Sen. Barack Obama argued in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer that McCain had "lost his bearings" while pursuing the Republican nomination.

The McCain camp claimed that Obama's use of that phrase was "a not particularly clever way of raising John McCain's age as an issue."

Last Wednesday, the issue reemerged when McCain appeared on NBC's "Today" Show and argued, as he has before, that "it's not important" when troops return from Iraq as long as casualties are held to a minimum.

Sen. John Kerry, an Obama supporter, said in a hastily arranged conference call that McCain is "unbelievably out of touch" and that it "is really becoming more crystal clear... that John McCain simply doesn't understand [the conflict]. He confuses who Iran is training, he confuses what the makeup of al Qaeda is, [and] he confuses the history ... of what has happened between Sunni and Shia."

Susan Rice, one of Obama's top foreign policy advisers, said that McCain had demonstrated a "pattern of confusing the basic facts and reality that pertain to Iraq."

When asked if he was trying to highlight the age issue through his choice of words, Kerry said it was "unfair" and "ridiculous" to make such an assertion. Rice said she was simply highlighting the fact that, in her opinion, McCain has his facts wrong.

Democrats in Congress Cave-in to Bush on Iraq War Funding

Once again the Democrats cave-in to Bush on the Iraq war. They've broken the vow that swept them into power in November of 2006. But did we really expect anything less. Congressional Democrats are motivated by winning the next election. It was always comes down to that. Even if it means compromising principal or breaking a vow:

Democrats in the Congress, who came to power last year on a call to end the combat in Iraq, will soon give President George W. Bush the last war-funding bill of his presidency without any of the conditions they sought for withdrawing U.S. troops, congressional aides said on Monday.

Lawmakers are arranging to send Bush $165 billion in new money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, enough to last for about a year and well beyond when Bush leaves office on January 20.

"It'll be the lump sum of money, veterans (funding) and that's it," said one House aide familiar with the negotiations on the legislation.

The aide was referring to the funding for the unpopular Iraq war, now in its sixth year, and a measure being attached to expand education benefits for combat veterans.

A House of Representatives vote on the war-funding bill was expected this week. Anything the House passes would have to be approved by the Senate before the legislation is sent to Bush.

With the Pentagon running out of money to continue fighting the two wars, Congress is trying to approve new funds before its July 4 holiday recess.

With this bill, Congress will have written checks for more than $800 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with most of the money going to Iraq.

Since January, 2007, when Democrats took majority control of the House and Senate, they have tried to force Bush to change course in Iraq, mostly through troop withdrawal timetables and requirements that U.S. soldiers be more thoroughly trained, equipped and rested before returning to combat.

And while various versions have passed each chamber since then, there have not been enough votes in Congress to enact the war conditions over Bush's objections.

The result is that the 110th Congress will wrap up most of its work this fall, before November's congressional and presidential elections, without forcing any changes to Bush's open-ended war policy, the defining issue of his presidency.

Gore Endorses Obama as a Solver of Problems

This was the final missing piece of the puzzle that gives Obama total legitimacy as the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party:

Former Vice President Al Gore made his debut appearance in the presidential campaign here Monday evening, offering a vigorous endorsement of Senator Barack Obama and urging Democrats to keep in mind the consequences of not taking the general election with grave seriousness.

“Looking back over the last eight years, I can tell you that we have already learned one important fact since the year 2000,” Mr. Gore said. “Take it from me, elections matter. If you think the next appointments to the Supreme Court are important, you know that elections matter.”

Mr. Gore and Mr. Obama strode onto the stage arm in arm to thundering applause from a crowd of nearly 20,000 people at a downtown arena. As Mr. Gore ticked through a long list of challenges facing the nation, he hailed Mr. Obama as “clearly the candidate best able to solve these problems and bring change to America.”

Mr. Gore had purposefully stayed on the sidelines during the long Democratic primary fight. He announced his endorsement of Mr. Obama a few hours earlier on Monday in a message to supporters on the former vice president’s vast e-mail list. Their appearance here touched off a flurry of curiosity among Democrats, with many quietly asking if Mr. Gore would be on Mr. Obama’s list of prospective running mates.

“When I am president,” Mr. Obama said, “I will be counting on Al Gore to help me lead the fight for a clean energy future here in the United States and around the world.”

Since Mr. Obama opened his presidential bid in January 2007, the two have talked frequently, including in a meeting last fall at Mr. Gore’s home in Nashville. Mr. Obama said Monday that the former vice president had been helpful throughout the primaries, lending his ear and his thoughts, but always taking care to stay impartial.

[...]“For America to lead the world through the dangers we’re facing, to seize the opportunities before us, we’ve got to have new leadership,” Mr. Gore said. “Not only a new president, but new policies. Not only a new head of state, but a new vision for America’s future.”