March 28th, 2008
06:52 PM ET

Age a bigger factor in election than race, gender?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While the Democrats sweat it out over how voters perceive race and gender in this election, maybe it's time for the Republicans to take a look at how Americans feel about electing a 71-year-old man.

If John McCain wins, he will be the oldest person ever to serve a first term as president. And a new survey out suggests that the public might have more doubts about voting for someone of McCain's age for president than they would for an African-American or a woman.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows 72% of those surveyed say voters are ready to elect a qualified black candidate, 18% say they're not. Meanwhile, 71% say Americans are ready to vote for a woman, 20% say they're not. But only 61% say the voters are prepared to vote for a person over 70, while 29% say they're not. Not exactly encouraging numbers for McCain and the Republicans.

Besides his age, McCain has had his share of health issues. He survived 5½ years as a POW in Vietnam, where he was badly mistreated. He's also been treated for melanoma – a potentially deadly form of skin cancer – four times in the last 15 years. But the Arizona senator is active and keeps up as tough a work schedule as any of the candidates out on the campaign trail.

Doctors say there's no reason McCain wouldn't be able to serve as president, although they point out that certain health risks – like heart disease and cancer – a can become bigger factors for people in their 70s.

McCain’s campaign plans to release details of his medical history next month.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to electability, is John McCain’s age a bigger factor than the Democratic candidates’ race or gender?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Thomas from Michigan writes:
Ya darn right it is! McCain is too old for the pressure. His judgments will be negatively affected. He probably won't be able to deal with a crisis call at 3pm! One's faculties are in decline at that age. That's why most sensible seniors retire!

Angela writes:
Gender and race have no physical bearing on job performance. Age does.

Rick writes:
At 71, McCain would not be allowed to be a corporate officer or sit on the board of most Fortune 500 companies. The businesses have it right. I will not be voting for McCain.

Rob writes:
Jack, Age is not an issue. You put any healthy, young working-class Joe like me in the president's seat and we'd drop dead of a heart attack before the week's over. It all comes down to how you handle stress. The campaign trail is good testing ground to determine if you can handle the hot seat and McCain has done well so far.

Brian from Idaho writes:
Now you're getting desperate, Jack. Besides, as an old bag of bones yourself, you're biased in asking this question.

Sue writes:
Jack, Of course age is a factor. McCain already said he was nine or something like that when Pearl Harbor was attacked; most of the younger generation has given Pearl Harbor a passing glance in class. He cannot remember who we’re fighting in Iraq unless he has Lieberman behind him to tell him the correct answer! I'm a grandmother and forget a whole lot of things so the last thing I want is some old guy with his finger on the button who thinks he's ringing for his secretary instead of dropping the bomb.

Raghu writes:
Q. What is John McCain's Social Security Number?
A. 3
Q. Who are 1 and 2?
A. Adam and Eve

Filed under: 2008 Election • John McCain
soundoff (256 Responses)
  1. Terry from Calif

    Jack: Age, gender, race, really what does any of it have to do with being electable? Let's stick with performance and issues to justify who will be the next president.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  2. Ron Kepics

    Hi Jack:

    No, but the way he puts his foot in his mouth is.

    Ron K. San Diego

    March 28, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  3. John from Tennessee

    No. The only factor is Obama, who should have already dropped out for the good of the coiuntry, which John and Hillary have always loved and been proud of. Obama needs to go some where else, and leave
    politics to the grwonups.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  4. James Leffler

    Age will make John McCain's running mate and essential facter in this race. If he tries to win over neocons by picking a neocon running mate he will lose the indipendent vote that he needs to win the election. No matter how much people like this soon to be 72 year old Senator if they don't trust his running mate they will not vote for him.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  5. April in texas

    Jack, I vote on who is the best canidate. I look at the issues and which favors my views and go with that. I am a 39 yr old white female so many would guess I would vote Hillary but she seems to like to change the rules as she goes and I already raised my 2 children I dont need a president who I would have to wonder if hes going to change the rules or views on issues. In regards to McCain well I see where George Bush went on issues and that is opposite of what I want. Obama seems to have the integrity and addresses situations head on (like his race speech). Hope that answers your question Jack.

    Austin Texas
    Obama 08

    March 28, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  6. Barrington of Cambridge

    Are you kidding? What if McCain's "red phone" moment coincides with a "senior moment"?

    Let's be honest, agism unlike sexism and racism usually has a physical and psychological element to it ... as unfortunate as that may be.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  7. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Age is a big factor. It is undeniable that McCain has many health issues that should not be taken lightly. As one ages,their body slows down and age-related infirmaries show up,no matter how healthy they are. The demands and pressures of the presidency demand that there be a person of great stamina and energy. 72 is just too old.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  8. Jon (Austin, TX)

    McCain is getting up there, but I think voters care more about his views on Iraq and the economy. Race and gender will be much more of an issue for the Democratic nominee. Of course if McCain's medical records indicate he's about to kick the bucket then his age might play a larger part.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  9. Velle In Halifax

    Jack, its a bit late for McCain to start taking crash courses in high-level economics, foreign relations and domestic relations. I also find his eyesight suspect if her can look around Iraq and see "victory" when its never been defined just what that is?
    And yes, the compound stresses of THE OFFICE are likely to end his melanoma remission. So who exactly is his runniing mate?

    March 28, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  10. Elise

    My guess is that it might be, but because of the issues in front of us with economy and the Irag war, there is likely to be more focus on that when we finally get to the general election.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  11. Keith

    John's support of Duyba's illegal invasion and contiuned occupation of Iraq for maybe nother 100 years is far more of a concern for me than his age, Jack.

    To make matters worse, his economic policies (or lack thereof) are equally as troublesome.

    His age is the least of my concerns when I look at the total candidate.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  12. Michael in Lorton, Virginia

    No. It should not be about either age, gender or race, but it seems like all three are elements are of great concern in this election year.. I believe that It is always better to have "excess" and to admire the wrinkles as the etchings of experience and the firm lines of character.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  13. Mary - Santee CA

    Age, Gender, and Ethnicity should have no bearing on a candidate's qualification. We must select a candidate based on their ability to confront this country's problems. They must present their solutions completely and honestly without generalizations. A candidate must be honest, have intregrity, and have the welfare of the CITIZENS of this country first and foremost and not be indebted to corporations, special interest groups, etc. They must have the courage of their convictions. All I want to know is where is he or she?

    Mary – Santee

    March 28, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  14. Thomas , Michigan

    Ya darn right it is. One's faculties are in decline at McCain's age and
    judgements are negatively affected. I'll bet he wouldn't be able to handle a crisis call at 3PM!!

    March 28, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  15. Meryl from Bklyn NY

    John McCain's age makes it harder for him to relate to the SURGE of younger voters who have issues relating to the world in the 21st century they want addressed that I believe McCain doesn't understand. These younger voters want to see an end to the IRAQ war and they worry that McCain thinks IF we stay in IRAQ forever we WILL win the war in Vietnam.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  16. k Atlanta

    No, old white guys never have much of a problem with getting anything or anywhere. They are considered wise. If he was a old white woman, then that would make a difference. You can be old, and you can be white, and you can be a women. Just not all at the same time.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  17. BGreen

    Jack, this would be dependent on who the VP is. He may do fine for 1-2 terms or he could be drooling down his tie in 2 years. It would be very VP dependent for me.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  18. Angela

    Gender and race have no physical bearing on job performance. Age does.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  19. Chris Swansea, MA

    ...I'm still wainting for a Presidential canidate or President for that matter who will stand in front of a microphone and say that he or she will not rest until OSAMA BIN LADEN is brought to justice. I dont care if he's old,black, white, female, green, blue,......

    March 28, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  20. Brian

    Now you're getting desperate, Jack. Besides, as an old bag of bones yourself, you're bias in asking this question.


    March 28, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  21. Len Larsen of Colfax, Wisconsin

    All other things being equal - YES!

    But the other things aren’t equal, are they? Barack is by far a better candidate, has better policies, doesn’t have as many known past health issues and he is younger so that Barack would easily come out with a higher score.

    Hillary, on the other hand, has better policies (similar to Barack’s), doesn’t have as many known past health issues and is younger, but she comes with so many other negatives that even with the age factor, Sen. McCain would perhaps come out with a higher score.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  22. Eddie

    White House, 3am

    Drinnnng !

    Cindy: Johnny Honey ! That red ugly phone is ringin'

    John: So?

    Cindy: Maybe you should answer...

    John: Can't do.

    Cindy: Why?

    John: I must change my diaper first.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  23. Bunny

    I don't believe John McCain's age is as important as his politics. I don't believe this country can withstand another 4 to 8 years of Bush policies. The democrats need to stand behind tthe nominee that is ahead in delegates and the popular vote (Obama) so that he can start campaigning for the general election in November. Age, race or gender should not define our president. It is time to move away from the popularity issues and concentrate on the economy, health care and the war.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  24. Bruce St Paul MN

    To me, age is not only a bigger factor, it is the only one of those three quailfiers that would be a factor at all. If the candidates seem qualified to begins with, what will change? Well, Senator McCain will get older. Examples from our own families show that things change with age, sometimes suddenly. Health issues, mental sharpness, stamina. Ronald Reagan seemed robust for his age, but could not remember meetings that he attended or led related to Iran-Contra. My own father was fairly healthy and normal at 74, but at 75 had triple bypass surgery and started to show signs of alzheimers. I'm glad he wasn't president.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  25. Ruby Coria, LA. CA.

    Jack, since we're not talking about issues the biggest factor is Gender, this is a mens world. Why do you think we have the issues that we do?. Jack and CNN crew, in this case the FreashMan rookie will take down the Senior Man down so you can exhale. Politics such madness... UCLA.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  26. Amy in Woodstock, NY

    Age is a factor only if dementia becomes a factor which I think it isn't in McCains case. However, I think McCains mind is sharper than Hillary Clintons when it comes to remembering the actual truth.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  27. James in Cape Coral, FL

    Yes, it's a huge factor. Simply because it makes one look harder at whomever he picks as a running mate. Knowing that person could be the President if McCain dies in office makes you need to know where his Vice President would stand on every issue. For republicans it becomes a two person race and both candidates need to fit the bill to get the votes. If republicans aren't attentive then they could end up with another Dan Quail as VP making McCains health vitally important to the future of every American.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  28. Eleanora Feucht

    No, McCain's age is not a factor in his electability. The fact that he is lock-step with Bush is the biggest factor. 5 years has bee much too long for THIS war. The Republicans claim to be pro-life. Life does not end ar birth, do not our troops have lives? These lives are not expendable, and neither are the lives of the Iraqi people who have been killed for Bush's war.


    March 28, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  29. Bob Maher

    McCain often talks about his 96-year-old mother, but isn't it more relevant that his father died at 70? He never mentions that. His choice of running mate will be crucial.

    Bob Maher
    torrance, CA

    March 28, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  30. Terry in Hanover, VA

    If McCain is too old and Obama is too young, does that make Ms. Clinton just right?

    March 28, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  31. Jed from Chico, CA

    Regarding age versus gender and race I can't find a time in American history when it hurt to be an old white man and I can't believe we'd start now. It's true McCain could be in better health but that hasn't hurt Dick Cheney. We've been waiting for the last 7 years for him to keel over and die of a heart attack and that hasn't happened yet (but I'm still keeping my fingers crossed.)

    McCain's age isn't as big of a deal now as it will be in four years when he's 76 and seeking re-election. Should he serve two terms he'll be 80 before he leaves office. That's just a little too old, but I'll save that for 2012, should he become President.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  32. Zeak Rivers

    I am afraid it will be, we need a person that thinks fast on his feet and can bring people together. We need a man who is sophisticated, very well dressed and educated, someone who will lead us and feed us and help us to make up our minds, we need a person who stands up tall, someone the world will listen to in believe his all.

    Who is that person ????

    March 28, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  33. PAUL, VA

    YES Jack, How many 'McCain-Moments" will we want ourselves to be subjected to, after eight years of speech impediment by the current incumbent?

    March 28, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  34. Bill Quarryville, PA

    Jack being president of the United States makes young men into old men fast. Imagine what it would do to a man who had some serious health scares and would be the oldest man ever to become president if elected. I think John Mccain is a good man but his age and his health should be something to consider when voting.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  35. IFEANYI AZUBIKE Houston, Texas

    For me Jack, age over 70 is a huge factor both in terms of health and ideas. After the wear and tear of active life, the body is ready for a deserved rest at 70 and so it is not the ideal time to be applying for a new job (retirement was introduced for a good reason). Like old cars, at seventy, the body could if tasked, simply refuse to function, and for a good reason too. Also, ideas are seasonal, which may explain why McCain continues to tout war as more important than the economy to the exclussion of majority of Americans. The Bible recommends three score and ten as the ideal retirement age, therefore, running for the presidency at over seventy appears to defy both nature and reason.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  36. R S in ohio

    No its not. Age has seemed to fade into the background.But race and gender is right up front.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  37. Rosalynd

    Hopefully the majority of voting Americans have larger issues on their mind like the Iraq war and the Economy and see Age, Race, and Gender as trivial issues not to be used in their decision on who to vote for in the Presidential election in Nov.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  38. Bill

    sure McCain has alot of experience and probably could do a great job in the oval Office most of the time. But, wht happens when oops we got to go to the doctor this week and doc says take it easy do some R&R . Don't wory about preparing for war Iran or Noth Korea. I think It might be alittle tough on the old guy, So why doesn't he just buy one of those million dollar RV's in Arizona and go camping and fishing and just say I came I saw I did and just retire have some fun before having the Big One !! Spend some time with family and let the next generation take over, Just let go big John, Its Ok now, get some rest , say Bye Bye, love ya,


    March 28, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  39. KEN, VA

    Well,if he is able to continuously mumble, "Bomb,bomb,bomb – " I guess he gets the Republican vote, for sure!

    March 28, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  40. Jayne - NH

    Age is something to consider. Remember Nancy Reagan standing behind the late President and prompting him? Perhaps he was in the early stages of the Alzheimer's Disease that took his life. We've gone nearly 8 years having an elected leader who often seems to suffer from dementia. We don't need 4 more.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  41. Bret


    No, age shouldn't matter, as long as the candidate is in good health. McCain's health isn't as good as Reagan's was when Reagan was President.

    I'm more concerned with McCain's record on amnesty for illegal aliens (the infamous McCain-Kennedy bill – aka, "see you at the signing", as Bush said), than I am with his age.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  42. S, Michigan

    Of course it is Jack- what's with this question? Age becoming a factor for you too? We should have a min age (35 currently) and a max age (65 at time of election). You want a 70+ old guy needing an afternoon nap when the red phone is ringing? (forget 3am calls!).

    March 28, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  43. Phil

    Would McCain do something really meaningful like quit giving housing loan bail out money by the billions from the federal reserve to the banks? I know the banking industry is a republican industry lobby group, but we dont need costly middlemen. Just let the FHA give the housing money direct to the homeowner borrowers. WE dont need the banks. Save the taxpayers some money and eradicate the expensive corporate middle establishment!

    March 28, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  44. Thomas, Pennsylvania

    Yes. You've got the naive kids "fired up" about the naive candidate, the old man party for the old man and the middle aged women for the middle aged woman.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  45. S.K.

    It amazes me that we have mandatory retirement for airplane pilots, police officers etc. because peoples lives are in their hands., But, not for the person who is going to run the whole country. 72 is just too old to start a presidency! It is a very tough job and requires alot of stamina.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  46. Bud

    I have seen first hand the health toll a Vietnam Vet experiences, much

    less a North Vietnamese incarceration. God bless him for his service,

    but he has given enough for this country. Perish the thought that a

    Vice President might succeed him. The country has already made

    the decision about Romney and company that it didn't want them

    as President. Bud

    March 28, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  47. Sharon

    Yes, age is a factor. It's clear that McCain's hearing is already going. He doesn't seem to be hearing the message that Americans want to end this war.

    It would have been a victory if WMD's were found, which was the reason for going into this war to begin with. His eye sight can't be that bad that he didn't notice there weren't any.

    Next to go is memory and I see signs of that happening already.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  48. Russ in PA

    Age has little to do with it; we need a patriot like Ron Paul in the White House, not an aged Neo-Con-o-crat.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  49. J. Onofre - CA

    No. But how old is too old? His health comes into more scrutiny as he becomes more worn out from a presidency.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  50. Raheem Bello

    Some say the older the wiser, only young people like my self would object to such sayings. When it come to America as a whole, Racism and Sexism dominate the minds of many. Unless if his medical records are disturbing, America might have to welcome BUSH No. 3.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  51. Ralph, Long Island, NY

    Shouldn't the more important question be if intelligence, or honesty, or temperment, or capability is the most important quality in a presidential candidate. The fact that age, gender, or race is even a question that needs to be asked is the short answer as to why our country is in the mess it is and spiraling down fast.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  52. Patricia

    As Bill Maher said in a commentary on his show, old warriors become killers of the young. I'm only 20yrs behind John McCain & I will not vote for a man who wants to keep troops in Iraq 100 years. It's insane to do that to our troops.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  53. Barbara Hazleton,Pa

    Age is a big factor here in Hazleton, Pa where over 70% of the population are seniors. The seniors here will favor a senior candidate for president. With age comes experience. With experience comes wisdom. And with wisdom will come victory for John McCain in November.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  54. Eric Platt

    Age, sex, and race are all irrelevant to being President.

    It comes down to how well the President builds the supporting team.

    That is why Governors make good Presidents. They have had to put together a group in order to govern.

    Senators haven't needed to put together a team. That is why they make bad Presidents. A Senator is a lone wolf, a President is a team leader.

    How about we start the primary process all over again, and ony include former governors?

    March 28, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  55. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    As far as Barack Obama is concerned, being African American is just one factor to overcome in becoming President and likewise the fact that Hillary is female is only one factor, but as far as John McCain is concerned, the number of years on this green earth is a factor of 71, and that is a bit disconcerting. I don't know where you went to school Jack, but where I learned Mathematics, a factor of 71 is much greater than one.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  56. Mike S., New Orleans, Louisiana

    McCain's age is a problem, especially when considered with his history of health problems and his well documented temper. The Republican ticket will pass or fail based on the Vice Presidential nominee because of McCain's age. No wonder Mitt Romney is practically begging to be Veep.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  57. Simone from New Jersey

    The fact is, Jack, there is a greater risk that the VP will have to step in if the President is older and has a history of health problems. If I feel that the VP is capable, and someone I would be happy to see step into the role of President, then I have no reason not to vote for a 71 y/o candidate, if I think s/he is the best one for the job. As it turns out, in this case, I do not think McCain is the best candidate, and so his age has no effect on my voting decision.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  58. Richard Sternagel

    Of course age is a factor! Look at some of the photos of FDR, Carter,Reagan when they first took office and compared them with photos upon leaving the White House! All of these Presidents were younger than John McCain upon taking office! One wonders if Reagan was beginning to show the ravages of Alzheimer during his second term! I think the Presidency extracts a physical and emotional toll on any who have held the Office!

    March 28, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  59. Yvonne - Charleston, SC

    I don't know what is considered "too old" in this day and age but what I DO know, is "you can't teach an old dog new tricks", and if McCain gets elected, he is just a continuation of the anguishing Bush years which has aged the majority of the country long before our time.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  60. Henry Makovec Coeur d'Alene, ID

    Senator Leiberman politely reminded Senator McCain (on camera) that there were no Al Queda terrorists being trained in Iran. If that is not a senior moment, then what is? Senator McCain then proceded over the next couple days to continue to link Al Queada to Iran even though everyone knew what he was saying was wrong. Whether or not this is a "senior moment" we cannot have a president who cannot get his facts together. America already made that mistake once and we do not need another.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  61. Laura, NYC

    For me, race or gender is not an issue. Age shouldn't be an issue, either, but in the case of McCain, yes, it is a problem. One, he just looks old...reminds me of my grandpa every time I see him. More important, he has old ideas. I am not saying McCain cannot recognize a good idea, but in my opinion his views are extremly limited, thanks, in part, to his age. I appreciate Sen McCain's sacrifice for his country during the Vietnam war. However, that does not, and SHOULD not translate into a visionary leader that we so desperately need right now.

    This white girl is voting for the black man.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  62. Jamaal Kansas CIty Ks

    Of Course What alot of people don't understand is America is becoming home to alot of younger educated people that want a different kind of politcs and want people in office that are representing there beliefs. And that is the reason John Mccain will not stand a chance againt the new generation of supporters Barack Obama brings with him

    March 28, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  63. John from Eugene Oregon

    Jack, are you kidding? Did you see McCain on television? I don't know if he could find the bathroom without help.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  64. Anthony from Duluth

    It's so depressing to have to think about a problem conjured from materialism. Ya he's 72ish, but for crying out loud, that man can get the job done. So can Obama and so can Hilary. The question should be:
    Does he have any CURRENT ailments that will hinder his presidency?
    If not, DROP IT because you know damn well, Jack, that Americans are just treating this election like a reality TV show.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  65. Darth Vadik

    There are a lot of people who are perfectly sane and older than McCain, but not McCain, he's already senile, and I think he is losing his mind. He should not be allowed within 200 miles of the White House.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  66. David NH

    I don't think it's so much his age, but the age at which he is perceived. At some of his news clips, he looks like he hasn't a clue. Will people look at him and judge him to be addled?
    Of course, you can't judge this factor on looks alone – look at how George snowed us!

    March 28, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  67. Judy Beardsley

    I'm over 60 and have many friends over 70. They are often as bright and interesting as they ever were, but will freely admit that their energy levels and cognitive abilities have DEFINITELY changed. His age is fine for a US Senator, but not for the extraordinarily demanding job of President. I'm sure McCain sincerely believes age is no obstacle - but I think he's being unrealistic. He'll soon feel the effects of such an unrelenting schedule. The nation and world is in too much of a mess to risk not having a president at his peak. Judy B.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  68. Nancy, Cunningham, TN

    Senator McCain, is not too old to serve as President, but he is out of touch with the needs of the American people. I don't think this has to do with his age as much as it has to do with who he listens to. President Bush is not a good role model for deciding to stay the course in Iraq. Our country wants peace and the prosperity to return to this great nation.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  69. Amy, Kalamazoo

    I'm more concerned with his health rather than the number of candles on his birthday cake. He'd be 75 at the end of his first term, assuming he'd make it to the end. There's alot of unforeseen in those 4 years, healthwise. He's had a stressful life, he's already dealt with major health issues. i want a president who can go full steam ahead in the first four years and keep going for the final four. It would be a shame to be forced out after a first term due to poor health.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  70. Paulette-Cincinnati, Ohio

    No....but I do wonder why McCain would even want to be president and not be enjoying retirement somewhere....anywhere. Of course if Hillary loses I WILL be voting for McCain. That is how much I dislike Obama and his lies. WAKE UP AMERICA.... VOTE HILLIARY '08

    March 28, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  71. Aaron B.; Champaign, IL


    March 28, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  72. Paul


    March 28, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  73. Cynthia

    Age is definitely more important than race or gender. We've already seen John McCain have some of his "senior moments" as the news media calls it . A senior moment is what the medical field calls the early stages of dementia. I can't imagine our troops being kept in Iraq for as many at 100 years – we've already lost 4,000 lives. Those people lost have loved ones here in the U.S. who have heavy hearts, financial difficulties, etc. Our economy is in trouble – he's going to have to read Greenspan's book! People loosing their homes – we are not going to bail out those people because they brought more house than they can afford, etc.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  74. Adi

    Yes- may be. It will be odd to see 72 year old against 46 year old , who is almost his son's age fighting with each other . I am being realistic and not considering Hillary as she has already lost this battle.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  75. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    You tell Thomas in Michigan that us 71 year old kids can answer a phone at 3 AM as well as . . . as .. what's her name there. . .

    March 28, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  76. Tim

    Are you kidding? I thought age was already the OBVIOUS reason McCain wont be elected. If you watch videos of him from 2000 and compare them to now, you can see hes lost it. We dont need a dementia diagnosis in waiting to be the next president. Not to mention that at 72, hes probably never surfed the internet, and is completely disconnected from modern society.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  77. Rafael

    When it comes to electability, John McCain’s age is not a bigger factor than the Democratic candidates’ race or gender? I'm one of those Hillary voters that will have no choice but to vote for Obama in November because I will not leave the party. Nevertheless, McCain is an honorable man and people that can not get passed his age are as small minded as those that will not vote for Obama because he's of race issues or those that will not vote for Hillary Clinton because she told a fishing story about landing in Bosnia.

    Glendale, Californa

    March 28, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  78. carrie,detroit

    jack please,i have always admired you but this question is just plain ridiculous.
    every american citizen irrespective of age,race or gender has every right "to vote" and "be voted for".
    thats my answer.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  79. Josh

    Yes, McCain doesn't stand a chance because he is essessially an George W Bush clone. McCain wants to continue Bush's failed policies and stay in Iraq for 100 years. No sane and intelligent person would put someone like McCain in charge since he is more of the same tired old Republicans that landed us in this mess. I am supporting Barack Obama to end the Bush's regime incompetence and fix the country.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  80. BIG JOHN Lancaster

    I think some of the polls are all wet. From what I've seen and heard, so far, Obama's religious connections and his attitude and ideas are a much bigger deal than McCains age. I the age issue will be a moot point if McCain selects a younger running mate who is acceptable to the voters also. McCain is perceived as an honorable person and with experience just as Clinton is perceived as a person with experience regardless of gender. Obama has too much baggage and lately, every time he opens his mouth, it gets worse. The Democrats are becoming their own worst enemies and I think that will play well into the hands of Republicans. Age is not going to be the deciding factor in this election (as long as McCain lives long enough to be elected that is).

    March 28, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  81. Tom Huntington,NY

    I think so, Assuming Obama gets the nomination, I can't wait for the debates. It will be like Nixon vs. Kennedy again. I can't wait to hear Obama say to McCain " 100 YEARS! Are you out of your mind?"

    March 28, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  82. earl illingsworth

    Yes, his age is a factor,but what's more worrysome is his health! The cancer he has is here to stay ,but not life threatening ,thank God! The fact that he hasn't released his medical records has also brought speculation of his campaign's strategist to clean up any discrepancy's that might/could create a roadblock in the near future. Please note, that the Republican's are fighting a two front assault with no clear-cut winner on the Democrat's side, which is also strategically a tough road to hole for Mccain. Advantage,"Age and Gender"!

    March 28, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  83. Tina

    In John's case age is not that big of a deal. I just don't like him. So there fore he will not get my vote. But he already acts like an old man who has been at his job way too long and needs to get his gold watch and go home with maw and rock on the front porch.

    March 28, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  84. Nora. South Texas

    Jack that is called age discrimination, You know we are not like that in this country!!! No his age should not matter, but I suspect it does otherwise why do we keep hearing it over and over and over!!!

    March 28, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  85. Matthew Gatto

    Age is a big factor for McCain because it means that whoever the vice president is will be in charge like the last 8 years. As such, if his vice president is a nutcase, then I'd even vote for Hillary...as much as I think she has to be the WORST role model for ladies nowadays.

    p.s. I'm an independant

    Matthew Gatto
    Seminole, Florida

    March 28, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  86. Michael, Tampa Fl

    Of course age is a factor. This is not discrimination, rather its simple biological fact. Can we really trust the faculties of someone in their mid- 70s given all of the life and death issues on the table?

    I believe John McCain to be a statesman, but his time has passed, we can't leave a job this importance to someone who probably will slow down as time ticks....we all do.

    Remember, now we know that Regan was already suffering for Alzheimers late in his presidency. We don't need a repeat.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  87. Anthony E. Compton, CA

    McCain's age is absolutely something to consider. Honestly, McCain has served his time for America and we appreciate that, he does not and should not continue on in this race to the White House. with the consideration of age, the younger candidates in Obama and Clinton are more electable. Anthony, Compton

    March 28, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  88. Jerry Wilson

    Many people have the reasoning faculty, but none use it in politics. That's why race-gender-age will be used as weapons of attack.

    Jerry Wilson

    March 28, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  89. Mzimkhulu Nyeka (PA)

    Jack, you blew it big time. Race and gender can never be liabilities even when frequently used to exclude some members of society from full participation in huma affairs. Age is in a class by itself. Mr. McCain is, plain and simple "an old man". What this means is that his age has become a liability due deteriorating faculties such as memory loss, physical ailments and impending death. No one among us can avoid this fate.

    That leaves us with the two democrats. Not a bad deal considering the reign of terror that has been the Bush administration.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  90. Melanie, Lake Wales, FL

    No, his age does not matter to me. Although I am an Obama supporter, I keep an eye on McCain. Who he chooses as VP will be decisive between choosing him and Clinton.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  91. Leah DiMarco, TX


    John McCain is too old and out of touch. McCain should release his physical and mental records for the American people to scrutinize. There is a reason that in America most people retire at the age of 65. It's time for him to go sit on the front porch in his rocking chair and do a little rockin'.

    Leah, Houston, Texas

    March 28, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  92. Eric, surburban, Detroit

    McCain's age undoubtedly does. Just as Clintons. (Now stay with me here.) Besides just being old and the potentail issues that could have on how they run the country, They may have been in government long as well. They have both contributed to this countries past and present, as well as our unknown future. But, there are many things wrong with our country, and most of them have continued to be flawed. These have something in common, the people that have held power for years, or decades, have the same continued views on many of these issues that can only get us so far. We need someone with new but smart views and plans to lead us in a new direction, not the same path we are on now, most importantly that we get on the right path, a better one, not just the path that works.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  93. BIG JOHN Lancaster

    Something happened with my last comment which should have said an important factor is if McCain selects a running mate who is younger, experienced, and acceptable to the voters just in case something does happen to McCain. A good VP will mitigate concerns about McCains age.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  94. Jay Atlanta

    After an eternity of Bush's baloney, an old fart might be better than just a fart.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  95. Judy Azar LeBlanc

    Jack .. Absolutely, positively and unequivocably age makes a difference for the person running the most powerful nation in the country!! McCain is tooooooo old!! It will be so important to see who the Vice President will be because he eventually will become the President and in this case, republications would ostensibly be voting for the Republican Vice President as opposed to President.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  96. Gerard Tampa Fl

    To attack the issues of today, the man or woman in this job must have unlimited energy and vitality.

    A good man, but none of us can stop the effects of aging. Even in our 50s we are already experiencing memory loss...

    Not a good idea

    March 28, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  97. Brian - Trinidad

    Jack, I've been reading the responses and most appear to trash your question.I strongly disagree.Yes,we should not consider gender,race or age in our judgements on just about anything.But we do in a big way,on just about everything.But people aren't going to answer honestly,they'll hide behind political correctness.I hear more comments about age and gender than about issues.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  98. Sharon, Indiana

    I don't agree with his politics all the time, as he is more conservative than I am, but have a great deal of respect and admiration for John McCain overall. If he could last for five years in a POW camp with essentially every bone in his body broken, I would say he is tougher than your average person, and thus his age is not as much of a concern for me. Plus look at how sharp his Mom is in her 90's, so I would say he's got mental toughness and a family history of longevity on his side.

    I saw his new add today, and actually teared up. Any way you slice it, he is going to be hard to beat in November.

    If the Democrats go too negative on him, it may backfire, because I don't see how anyone could say he hasn't served his country well. They can disagree with his politics, but if they try to attack the him too personally, it will not go over well.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  99. LKK

    Won't that depend on who he picks as a vice president?

    March 28, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  100. John Abreu


    The real question is will John McCain remain healthy enough to serve out his term. Whom he selects as his running mate will have much more influence over my decision than age, gender or race.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  101. Chad

    Jack I don't care if he's 70 or 27. He has a stunning lack of judgement, candor, and insight into any of the important issues facing the US. Sure maybe it's because he's 70, but it's just as likely it's because he's an idiot.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:06 pm |

    Not if he picks Hannah Montana for his vice president. Then together they'll only have an average age of 94.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  103. Dem

    Absolutely age is a factor. And, McCain is pushing the envelope.
    Energy wanes... so does hearing. Then physical and Medical issues increase .

    BTW – anyone dodging voting for either of the Dems, and threatening to vote for McCain instead, keep in mind that he's pushing for "ONE HUNDRED YEARS of WAR!"

    SO... write your clothing size next to your YES vote, so your Gov't issue uniforms will fit you when the call comes......

    March 28, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  104. Mary

    I'm 64 and with all the problems left behind by Bush/Cheney I can't imagine in my wildest nightmare WHY anyone John McCain's age would want to face the 365/24/7 grind – just to say you did it? At best John McCain would be a ONE term Prez. in the present climate of Washington and the world.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  105. Another Typical White Woman

    Looking at the all the other "old goats" in Washington? I think not.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  106. wally rehmann in las Vegas

    yes, and i hear Hillery might be he's vp choice, only way she can get the leadership role she wants so badly. coming in the back door. i wondered why she's been talking him up lately.........

    March 28, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  107. tim from Ravenna, OH

    If you take a look at what being president has done to the men that have held that post I would say that I would be more reticent to vote for someone as old as McCain even if I did agree with his policy.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  108. Lou Mullin

    The problem is not today. I am his age. The problem is six months after he hits the first brick wall which will come shortly after he takes off his tuxedo or white tie after the Inauguration dance(s). He has a temper which he is proud of and therefore he will use it. At our age, tempers don't help in making good decisions. You see, we old people think we have lived long enough to know the answer to most every possible question and he is very much like Bush and believes that all his thoughts are relevations – Bush divine inspired; McCain divine because he spent a bunch of years thinking his own thoughts and began believing them. We really do need someone who is not stuck in the quick-sand of his age-ed opinions. That is serious quicksand. We see it exemplified but somehow don't think he will carry it to the White House. Why can't we believe what you say – things are gettin ugly out there and age is one of the ugly things.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  109. Steve Baker, East Lyme,CT

    Toward the end of the Reagan years, it was obvious his mind was starting to stray. But then again, all the plays were being called by the Heritage Foundation and he was just their spokesman. I'm afraid John McCain will lead us down the same path as guided by this so called "Conservative Think Tank", that hasn't got anything right, yet.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  110. Will K. San Jose, CA

    Age, sex, and race all pale in comparison to 4000 dead, thousands more wounded, a failing economy and a tarnished world image.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  111. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    Sorry to say, it is. If Hillary Clinton at age 60 thinks she, not John Hume and the Dunfeys brought peace to Ireland, thinks she opened up the Macedonian border under sniper fire with Chelsea, thinks she is winning the campaign for Democratic nominee, then no wonder John McCain doesn't know Shia from Sunni at age 71.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  112. WH, Illinois

    I think it's weighing on people's minds, but it's not a driving factor in the race.

    What the driving factors are: racism/anti-semetism/ties to Islamic extremists, sexism, blatant dishonesty and political corruption (I know, politics and corruption go hand in hand), economy, taxes, etc...

    March 28, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  113. Dale Hampton

    I don't think any questions regarding Obama are relevent until he answers to the people how he can justify taking his young daughters to hear Rev. Wright's contrversial sermons. The media has given him a pass because they haven't yet asked him the tough questions. Once the tough questions come, it won't make any difference who endorses him.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  114. Gary in Colchester CT

    I think that it is, Jack. Two things have me concerned about Senator McCain....First and foremost is his physical appearance; he gait has obviously changed in recent months. There is substantial proof that gait is directly related to mental deterioration. Secondly, is his constant stammering during speaches. How many times now has someone (like Senator Leiberman) had to edit his sentances? We should not have to be more so concerned about who his running mate is than the candidate himself. We need a president who can give us at least four very vital years.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  115. VP

    I think McCain is showing the signs of he is getting old. He cannot remembers things, which could be a problem for him.

    Experience is great to have. What is the use of it when you cotradict to yourself often. so Age is a factor. Otherwise there are a lot of politicians who would be better than McCain running for president.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  116. Daud Mazhar

    Dear Jack,
    None of that is relevant. What the real issue in this race is that 'will the Clinton's ( it seems Bill wants to get back into the White House once again more than Hillary does ) drop out, before they have done irrepairable damage to the democratic party,allowing John McCain to win the ultimate prize despite his age etc ?

    March 28, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  117. Mary

    McCain is just not a viable candidate for a number of reasons. Age, bad temper, too Bush, too little knowledge about anything.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  118. Rudy Pittsburgh, PA

    Yes, if you are as old as John McCain or as young as Obama. I would rather have a happy medium btw the two. I think McCain can do a lot to compensate for his age like getting a young handsome VP like Romney. I dont think that Obama can do as much even if he got an old experienced vp that to me still would not compensate.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  119. Greg Fensterman

    Age discrimination? I don't think so. It's a fair issue to raise. The job of president is extremely demanding on a person – physically and mentally.

    I have to say, whenever I see McCain on TV he's not exactly bubbling with energy. Or maybe like Bush, he thinks it's just a 9-5 job.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  120. Jenny

    Are you kidding? What if McCain’s “red phone” moment coincides with a “senior moment”?

    Let’s be honest, agism unlike sexism and racism usually has a physical and psychological element to it … as unfortunate as that may be.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  121. AJ Mckinney, Texas

    Jack the democrats race and gender isn't their problem. With the democrats we have a known evil which is Hilary Clinton or an unknown evil which is Barack Obama to chose from. At this point with all the back stabbing politics the democrats are doing pushing the party farther and farther apart McCain is looking pretty good. My father is older then McCain and he outplays people in their 20's on the tennis court. I prefer age and wisdom over deceit, lies and back stabbing any day. If you can not get elected on your own merits without trying to muddy the merits of your opponent you don't deserve to be elected.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  122. Dan in Goodyear, Arizona

    Actually having an older person as President is not uncommon as we have seen our past Presidents so I'm not sure it will be a huge factor all though some Democratic voters tend to use that against McCain. Race and Gender are the big factors in this election because it is something we have never seen before. In the end John McCain is one cool old dude.

    Goodyear, Arizona

    March 28, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  123. Grif

    It has to rely on his running mate. Just the same as any other time

    or party..

    March 28, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  124. Glenn

    Normally I would say age shouldn't be a factor, Jack. However, this election is for the President of the US. Most companies retire folks at 65 and for good reason....the mind and the body are slowing down. Obviously, there are some exceptions.

    It would be sad to disqualify someone due to age, but the nation comes first. Also, the people are for all purposes are electing the President, even though a VP is on the ticket. He's the guy that will take over in the event the Prez dies or is unable to carry out his duties. Sometimes, if not most times, the VP is used as balance to attract voters and isn't necessarily Presidential material.

    So yes, I guess age carries a lot of weight in this and all Presidential elections. I believe McCain's health is as big a factor as his age.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  125. Mark - Asheville, NC

    Voters will notice McCain's age, but he will win anyway because we Dems aren't smart enough to run someone who can WIN. As usual.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  126. Gokhan

    Age is not that important. When honesty is the number quality in a president, not important at all. I still wonder why in this world anyone is not asking Senator Clinton if she is clean enough to show her taxes.
    Why is it taking so long and why CNN is not asking this to her?
    it is very simple. She has got something to hide. At least that's what it makes me think

    March 28, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  127. SB Iowa

    Race, gender, and age should not matter, with this caveat: Obama is too young, too inexperienced.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  128. Linda

    Jack, if American Corporations would not hire someone over 70 to run their companies, why in the world would americanS want to hire someone over 70 to run this country. You can clearly see that his health is in question, but now he also have a problem with his memory. I have nothing against him, but I have never seen anyone over 70 perform anything that was worthwhile talking about. American, please be sensible and send this man where he belongs, TO A RETIREMENT COMMUNITY. GIVE HIM A TOY GUN AND LET HIM PROTECT THE ELDERLY COMMUNITY.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  129. Karen P

    Not only is age a tremendous factor, but McCain also is living more in the past. This isn't a Vietnam era economy anymore. McCain doesn't offer anything that hasn't been offered in MANY years past. McCain doesn't seem to have a handle on bringing this country up to 2008 standards at all.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  130. Sunny


    You and your CNN coworkers have already done a great job to anti a candidate for the only reason she is a woman.

    I am very happy you finally want to admit it , although with a "?" .

    Do not try to fool people.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  131. Ronald, American living abroad


    Well, from looking at the way you keep those young whipper snappers in line in the Situation Room, age has its benefits doesn't it?
    McCain's biggest problem is not age, but they are legion (Keating Five, went to George W. Bush school of War and Public Speaking, and unchecked anger just to name a few.)

    March 28, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  132. Sam of Miami, Florida

    No. Age may be a factor for some folks, but it depends on the individual. For McSame, I don't think so. At age 71 he still looks energetic and alert (even though he had a slight senior moment when he traveled recently).
    However, I think the Senator has good Genes. Just look at his mother. She's over 95 years old and still kicking.
    Even though I won't vote for McCain, for now I'll cheer him on ... go McSame... go McSame....

    March 28, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  133. Paulette Dallas,PA

    Yes Jack, age should be a determining factor in voting for the next president. I respect John McCain's service to this country but I think his time has passed and we need a younger president to get the job done.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  134. Rick, MA

    I think it's a factor for Obama as well as McCain. For Obama because there are many people in the United States who have a personal bias against young people and believe they are all ignorant or uninformed. Can you name a time when the younger generation was less educated and informed than the older generation? I've got one: the Dark Ages. Besides, Obama is hardly young...he is 46.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  135. Jenny

    Jack, there is a reson we have retirement age in America.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  136. Pat from Raleigh

    Age will definately be a factor, but not as big a factor as his continued support for the war. The fact is, America cannot afford to continue the war...it's cost in $ (not to mention lives) has almost bankrupted us. This sad fact also means that most of the plans the democrats are proposing have no real chance of becoming reality- we can't afford them!

    March 28, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  137. Becky, Huntsville

    Age can make a difference. It didn't for Ronald Reagan because he looked younger and acted younger. McCain looks and acts old. Not to mention all his mis-speaking about al Queda and Iran.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  138. Stewart

    Though many of us would like to say that none of these things are factors in deciding the next president, we must be honest with ourselves. i think it is going to be harder for people to vote for a black man or a white woman, than someone as old as John McCain. Not because we expect more wisdom out of an older candidate, but discrimination against someone's race and gender is the huge elephant sitting in the room. not the old one running for president.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  139. Diane in Franklin, TN

    Not at all. The biggest factor in this election are self-defense skills.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  140. D.J.Lauter

    There's nothing worse than an old man who is hot tempered trying to lead this country. Besides health problems, his mind is not as sharp, judging from the gaff about Iran, and having to be whispered to by Joe Liberman about the correctness of his speech. Is that why Joe accompanies him everywhere?" He may be a step away from alzheimers.
    Ojai, California

    March 28, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  141. Kat from NH

    It shouldn't be, as brain deterioration can happen at any stage in life.......case in point, our current president. But, just to be on the safe side, perhaps a much younger choice will fare better for this country. What we need is freshness and newness , not old and stale politics.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  142. David Bakody

    Jack yes age is a factor but stranger things have happened. What will get him elected is his choice of Vice President. Many voters would then give him the nod in respect for his long public and Vietnam service. However many young voters do not see War Hero's in the same light, so it's is truly a coin toss. Jack if the truth be known it was Chaney who got Bush elected, twice.

    Nova Scotia

    March 28, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  143. Justin, LA, CA

    just a serious question.

    if something unfortunate happened to an elelcted president before he or she inauguration , who would be president? Elected VP? or opponent's President candidate?

    March 28, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  144. Fabienne

    Fearing someone because of his gender or race sounds stupid and not rational. Fearing someone because of his age is a physical reality and can become a problem related to health...

    I don' wanna sound tough on Sen McCain but , nobody wants to think that their president is one cancer or heart attack away...

    It's time for a new generation to be in the white house.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  145. Jake

    Yes, but only because McCain has been around long enough to eventually be revealed to be a hypocrite.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  146. Theresa in Mississippi

    It's a factor, jacktor because at 3 a.m. if you don't sleep with your hearing aid on, you might not hear the red phone ring! You can probably relate to that.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  147. John, Pittsburgh

    Yes Jack, Old people harbor old feelings and old baggage.... You should have to know how to use a blackberry to be president! Clonton takes us back to the 90's, McCain takes us back to the 80's, It's 2008!

    March 28, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  148. Jason

    Age?, Gender?, Race? Come on Jack at this point does it really matter? All I can say is atleast it's not Bush! Wasnt it only a matter of months ago everyone was saying anyone but Bush, what happened to that? Why dont we do like Louisiana and let all three run for President in Nov. and if nobody gets 50% then the top 2 have a run off in Dec. sounds like a plan to me!

    March 28, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  149. John

    Finally someone agrees with me that means people are finally coming to conclusion OBAMA is a fraud. He has two faces. One for the whites and one for the Blacks. When he goes to the Blacks he trashes whites which of course people will never know. When he goes to the White folks he talks about so called ‘unity’. He has been planning this scam for many years. That’s why he joined that church. He is a Moslem in Christian disguise and his buddy ‘Oprah’. These idiots think Oprah and Obama is their god. If Fox news never revealed this it won’t be a news at all because media loves him. Obama-Osama can’t do anything wrong. Just bash Hillay and Bill. Bill has been called by media ‘racist’. What Bill did for these Blacks Obama can’t even imagine doing in his life time. Just look at Obama he took advantage of affirmative to go to college then he and his people turn around how ‘racist’ America is. This is a great cournty that’s why he dares to run for president. Other wise, tell me who is Obama? son of a Kenyan Moslem, a guy from the street of Chicago. He has no credential to be president. All that talk don’t take people anywhere. His wife and he has no allegiance to this country. What sacrifice has he made for this country? None. He doesn’t respect the flag and his wife badmouth America? You want to vote for this guy? Wait till he raises taxes and he can’t get out of war that’s what Nancy Pelosi said too. Putting this imposter, two-faced carsalesman Obama would be a danger to the country. he He lies on people’s face and people are falling for it. If people have intelligence they will stop listening to him. For years he sat in that church listened to those sermons by his pastor now he is preaching ‘unity’? He thinks exactly like his pastor all these talk about BS is nothing but BS.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  150. Dr. Blount ATL. Ga.

    I think McCain is a great guy. I hate that he was a POW my love go out to him and his family.But the FACT is McCain is way TOO old ,sorry but that
    how I feel,& By the way Barack Obama is the one that i would put my money on. This is my first time voting and I feel so GOOD Jack i just want to say.
    Thanks, you do a GREAT JOB.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  151. Rob G

    Jack, age is not an issue. You put any healthy, young working class joe like myself in the President's seat & we'd drop dead of a heart attack before the week's over. It all comes down to how you handle stress. The campaign trail is good testing ground to determine if you can handle the hot seat & McCain has done well so far.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  152. dary

    If age is a factor, then you should be the first to go. You look older thank John! How did you like the horse and buggy days anyhow?

    March 28, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  153. Dewrit Jackson

    HE is to old ........im fearful for his health

    Obama 08

    March 28, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  154. dorothy delong

    Jack I think we dont need another 8 years of Bush but if Hillary doesnt get the nomination I will vote for him. I will NOT vote for a black man that puts up with nasty language about my country.Go Hillary
    Dorothy Ohio

    March 28, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  155. Chryssa

    America is used to old white men in politics. And let's face it: to all the young voters who are newly involved in this process, there's no difference between 60 and 70. Old is old.

    Voters this time are not worried about age, race or gender. We're worried about the war, our health, our economy, and the future of our country.

    Boise, Idaho

    March 28, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  156. brian

    Of course people say they don't care about someone's race or gender.. People are lying!!! Of course they care.... But no one will tell the truth in a poll to a questioner because then you'll be called racist.. Anyone who believes this poll is very ignorant and naive!

    March 28, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  157. L.Wade

    While there is much to be said about age and wisdom, there is a significant impact on good decision-making when it's an elder under pressure!

    We should have learned with Ronald Reagan in his 2nd term. AGE does make a difference. John's star rose too late for him to be a reliable leader in one of the greatest pressure cooker jobs in the world.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  158. Greg from Tuscaloosa, AL

    71 year olds can't stay up late enough to answer the phone at 3 a.m.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  159. Ken in Birmingham

    No but I hope that McCain does not take advantage of the fact that his rivals are too young and inexperienced. I am confident that the Democrat nominee will exploit the age issue while McCain would certainly not make race or gender one. Remember Carvile back in '96 talking about good old Bob Dole? Get ready John, here they go again.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  160. Joe in DE

    In McCain case, the VP becomes very important. I think that age is a marginal minus. We may find out how gender plays; until then w are gussing.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  161. Mike - Vermont

    Absolutely it is a factor! The guy is going to be decaying in office if he is elected! Would you want a surgeon that is 71? No. Remember that 3 AM phone call? He missed it because he wasn't wearing his hearing aid for the last 9 hours while he was napping.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  162. wayne

    Voters may want to see a debate between Obama and McCain/his runningmate. Let's be fair, we should have a debate among 4 persons.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  163. Ralph from NY

    Jack, the biggest factors are the concern for our economy and environment, and the war overseas which is wasteful in the number of our troops killed and maimed and the money we are spending to be there. The question of race and/or gender are not a concern of mine if I could believe either Obama or Clinton could heal the wounds of our country. As it is, I have my doubts as to their ability to do this, and my wish for an alternative Candidate behind whom all Democats can unite is not based on gender or race.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  164. Belle Stilwill

    You REALLY can't say voters haven't voted for CHANGE!!!

    1. First Black American
    2. First Woman
    3. Oldest American to run

    By the way...At 88 years of age, a retired Col. scaled the PEAK of a mountain named after him in 1929. He turned 89 during the scale to the summit, and his wife (who climbed with him) put 89 sparklers into the snow and lit them. She told him it was the biggest birthday present he would ever get.....DO YOU KNOW WHO THIS GREAT AMERICAN WAS?

    March 28, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  165. Sky in Seattle

    It depends on the person. It was simple as a child. It all came down to how you played the game and who you were inside the walls of that game. There were younger children who ran faster than older, and some girls who were stronger than some boys. some boys who could cook and sew and some girls who could fish and hike. It wasnt until we were older that they divided us up. AT first we knew we could do anything and race or gender or age had nothing to do with it. It wasnt until they made us live in our packaging that we adopted our limitations.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  166. Brian

    I'm voting for Al Gore!!!! The lesser of all four evils!

    March 28, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  167. Kelly

    Whether he's 71 or 51 it doesn't matter, Jack...I will never vote for someone who even remotely agrees with Bush policies.

    Westerville, OH

    March 28, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  168. Independent for Obama, Salt Lake City, UT

    A friend made a comment that we all laughed at, "the Republicans only have old and older white men, running." Yep. I am not prejudice about race, age or gender. However, what REALLY turns me off is the brutal attacks by the Clintons, and the media not calling Hillary on her blatant lies.

    McCain is a decent guy, who would have made an excellent president. We actually donated to his campaign against Bush. But now, 8 years later, we want CHANGE. Sen. Obama offers that. Experience will come.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  169. Ray, Florida

    I don't know Jack I guess it would depend on your age,your race, or your gender!!! I'm just a 44 year old confused white guy. But I'm sure thing's will work out!

    March 28, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  170. Rick

    At 71 McCain would not be allowed to be a corporate officer or sit on the board of most Fortune 500 companies. The businesses have it right. I will not be voting for Mccain

    March 28, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  171. blackabe

    Wow, this is how far we've come!!! No wonder people around the world are saying that America's greatness has faultered. If we can't get through these trivial subjects of age, race and gender crap, we're trully doomed as a nation and the rest of the world is right. What about the economy, crime, hunger...

    March 28, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  172. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    John McCain is 28 years away from being 100 years old and that's all I've got to say.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  173. Nunya

    Regardless of whether it's an issue of reluctance for many voters, the Democrats would be very unwise to use it as an issue to attack him. That would provoke a defensive reaction in a lot of people. They need to stick to the issues.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  174. Dee, Canada

    Age wouldn't be a factor for McCain if he had a brain.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  175. NHS

    McCain had best select a VP who can serve as president before his term expires. It's academic, though, since Obama is our next president.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  176. Zack B. - Ithaca, NY

    Unfortunately, most voters won't consider McCain's age as a factor come November, in large part because the man simply doesn't appear to be 71. Unlike race and gender, which will most certainly factor, consciously or otherwise, into some voters' decision, age directly affects a candidate's ability to perform the job. It's no secret that four years of leading the free world takes a serious physical and psychological toll, something McCain may not be prepared to undertake despite his background. What's more, McCain has already shown signs of aging in loss of mental acuity: he's confused basic concepts of Shia and Sunni Muslims, al Qaeda, Iraq, and Iran at least twice in recent weeks. These areas are supposed to be his expertise. What happens when advisers start talking about the economy?

    March 28, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  177. Peter from Massachusetts

    All these factors help each respective candidate. If McCain can portray himself as similar to Reagan, his age will help him make the deal with America.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  178. Doug--Los Angeles, CA

    No, of course not. Sexism & racism are clearly far more pervasive & insidious in American politics than ageism.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  179. Amnesty is Treason

    look at what g.dubya did at his age; he screwed the country back to the stoneage!

    March 28, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  180. Bob from Chicago

    The 15 year history of Melanoma is serious. Those are highly malignant and metastatic melanoma tends to appear suddenly after a seemingly long time. When it does it tends to be a very aggressive cancer. I wonder when McCain last had a total body scan looking for metastic cancer.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  181. Bob from Traverse city Michigan

    Jack age is a definate factor this election but not for the reasons you've put out there. The young people in this country are paying attention to this race and intend to participate and I don't think they're going to relate to Senator McCain very well. The Viet Nam war is an historical footnote to these young people so the strength of character and heroism Senator McCain exhibited there does not resonate with them as it does with their parents and grandparents. Senator McCain is out of step with these young voters on the war,and the economy and for those reasons his age will hurt him in November.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  182. Paulinus, Canada

    NcCain is too old to combat the socioeconomic pain
    That will drive him insane
    America needs a younger, more vibrant person
    He should not be considered for that reason

    March 28, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  183. Ruthie, Stone Mountain GA

    Its not his age that is a factor, it his ideals. He has none. When it comes to him, its a third Bush term.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  184. Edith Carol Price

    Dear Jack,
    Thats one of those silly question that people don't really think thru. What and who is to old? When my husband and I became 62 our kids said it was time to retire we thought so too. I'm the same age as John McCain I will will turn 72 on Election day this year. I've been retired 10 years. I was an office manager when I retired for a small church. The first 5 years we traveled, visited relatives, took family vacations and so on. Today we take care of two great-grandkids 1 and 3. It takes a strong back , humor, reading all the materials on kids and watching you and Wolf. We should have waited till we were eighty to retire. Eighty is the new seventy.
    NO...he' s not to old, the Bible told me WISDOM comes with age.
    If Hillary doesn't make it with experience then I'll vote for wisdom.
    By the way My grand daughter is 30 how long is my grand daughter going to have to work before she can collect social secruity.
    Edith Carol
    Springfield, OR

    March 28, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  185. Debby

    Hey Jack you didn't put the most important poll number up. McCain is winning over Clinton and Obama for the general so I guess age isn't a factor.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  186. Sue, Bloomington, IN

    Even though I'm a republican (or should I say an Obamican), I do not support John McCain; but, not because of his age. It's that insistance of his on embracing Bush and his policies that I can't support.
    Age-wise, there are young 70 year olds and old 70 year olds. Each person needs to be taken on their own abilities. I think McCain could do one term. I'd be hesitant age-wise about a second term.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  187. Tom Mayes

    When is someone, of any network, going to use their resources in Iraq, and elsewhere where our men and women are acutally under real sniper fire, to ask our troops, not the Generals but actual troops, what they think about a potential Commander in Chief saying she was under sniper fire when she wasn't. This would be a survey, that I think, most American's would really like to hear. Or how about the familys of troops who have been killed by sniper fire. Let's hear from real people with real sniper experience for once.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  188. Gigi in Alabama

    John McCain's age is certainly a factor, but his siding with GWB on Iraq is a larger concern to me. I will not vote for anyone that thinks like George Bush. I'm sorry, did I use the word "think" in the same sentence as George Bush? What was "I" thinking?

    March 28, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  189. mikeytherhino

    No, it shouldn't. maybe if he was 101 age might be an issue, but he's not THAT old, and, politics aside, he's an intelligent man who knows what he wants to do, and how to do it. Age was an issue brought up against Reagan when he ran, and did pretty well for 2 terms. No reason McCain can't do the job.

    Mike, From Staten Island, New York

    March 28, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  190. Winton

    No. The baby boomers are aging and John McCain looks as young as they do. Who knows, maybe the baby boomers will consider Hillary Clinton and especially Barack Obama too young for the job!

    March 28, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  191. james - Indianapolis, In

    I won't be that big of a factor until some comedian effectivly coins the phrase "McClain moment..."

    March 28, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  192. Joan of Illinois

    Age would not matter to me that much if I thought he had both oars in the water. His "senior moments" seem to be frequent lately and that makes one wonder if he really has the mental capacity to act quickly and sensibly when needed. There were much more qualified Republicans running.......what happened to them? Retire John

    March 28, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  193. Andrea, Illinois

    It doesn't really matter to me if a candidate is white, black, female or male. Qualification and character are more important. I am white and female and will vote for Obama. I think that McCain would also be a somewhat capable president, however his age worries me a bit. I am sure that being president of the US is a very demanding and on lots of levels stressful job. I am not sure that a man with some health issues and the age of 71 will be physicaly able to keep up with the job over time.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  194. NC

    I'm in support of Obama 100% and Hillary has really gotten on my last good nerve BUT I'll vote for Hillary before I vote for McCain. That's just 4 more years of Bush and who in their right mind would want that.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  195. john

    I do not think age is as big of a factor as his never ending Iraq war policy. I do believe anyone who votes for a never ending war should have their name put on an automatic list to be drafted to help fight the war. I think it is wrong to say my neighbors kids can go fight and die,that is OK. But I would vote different if anybody I loved had to go to war.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  196. Norm

    Life is like a box of chocolates the m"older" it gets, the less you want it

    Norm ..... Ma.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  197. jay

    It's not a matter of age or race, it's a matter of careful thinking and leading the country the right direction.

    And those who have been there in the comfort of whitehouse associates and friends only change the paints on the wall and wont do anything to change the climate inside the whitehouse.

    We have to vote for the one who can reflect the true meaning of "Unites States of America"....Unity first.

    Last time when I checked the calendar, the year was 2008 not 1105. So let's not draw the gender and race line.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  198. Nancy, Cincinnati, OH

    I'm 57 and McCain is too old for the presidency...Our citizens want and need someone with new fresh ideas to lead this nation out of the doldrums and quagmires we are in. Corruption on Capitol Hill is rampant. After all, McCain can't even read his canned speeched on a teleprompter, so how is he going to tackle other more pressing issues being as feeble as he is now?!

    March 28, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  199. Brian From Fort Mill, S.C.

    Although it's politically incorrect to say this, I do think McCain is too old to be president.

    Remember Ronald Reagan during the Iran Contra affair? He kept saying "I don't recall". It then turns out that he had developed Alzheimers.

    I just hope he picks a young running mate, like Barack Obama!

    March 28, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  200. Linda, Ocala FL

    NO! As with the other candidates its who is better for the country. GO HILLARY!

    March 28, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  201. Shelley, SLC UT

    Age doesn't make him any less qualified to run the country, but I do worry about his health.

    Have you seen what four years in office has done to age some of our presidents??

    March 28, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  202. Mike K

    Jack, What is the American public thinking! Age, race, gender, I dont think any of those issues have merit in determining the next President. The facts are we need to move beyond politics and elect the person who can lead us through the most difficult period of our history since the greatest generation. The Democrats have the best chance of gaining power and they can't even find common ground to oust the evil empire. The Republicans run a democrat in disguise to try to salvage it's grip on the country. What we need is common sense, someone willing to stand up and say what needs to be done and do it. All this talk is moving our country towards the third world power we soon will be and in your grandchildren's lifetime.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  203. George Wilson

    Its not his age that makes him unelectable, it is his views about the Iraq situation, and his promise to keep troops in Iraq for a number of years. With these views even Eisenhower, or Reagan couldn't win now.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  204. Jon in Los Angeles

    Age issues might surprise you. The last election in Israel saw the rise of the Pensioner's Party, which won a bunch of seats in parliament and I think got almost 10% of the vote. A substantial number of young voters came out and voted in support of their "grandparents".

    March 28, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  205. Alex Kamber

    Age is a good indicator of experience. There's a reason tribes have village elders, and why they're have that name. Of course, it will be even more important for him to pick a solid VP if something were to happen.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  206. Bob L. Philadelphia, PA

    Definitely not. Jack, are you running out of things to talk about? I would vote for McCain over Obama but Clinton over McCain. And guess what, it has nothing race, age, or gender. It has to do with the issues, believability, experience, and personality.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  207. Ralph from NY

    Jack, the biggest factors are the concern for our economy and environment, and the fighting overseas which is wasteful in the number of our troops killed and maimed and the money we are spending to be there. I am retired and as a biologist as well at first I worried about advanced age interfering with McCain's ability to be the President we need. The question of race and/or gender are not a concern if I truly felt either Obama or Clinton would be able to unite the nation and heal our wounds. As it is, I have my doubts as to the ability of any of the above to accomplish this, so now my wish for an alternate Candidate to be our leader and to do the job is not based on age, gender, or race.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  208. Andrew

    Of course, it's a negative. Many of us have had male relatives in their 70s who were fine one month, possibly slipping three months later, and on the skids six months after that. It's a gamble.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  209. Kay Rodrigues

    It's not about age, it's not about gender, it's not about race –it's about the economy. His age doesn't bother me half as much as his membership in the Keating Five. That tells me I don't want him making decisions about MY money!

    March 28, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  210. BatCat05

    Jack, if we were talking about any body else but Big John, yeah age would matter. McCain's got good genes for longevity and definitely more maturity than the two young ones on the democrat's side!

    BatCat in Florida

    March 28, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  211. Sherrie Johnston-Kephart

    The age thing...yes, it's a topic for sure..... some of us are boomers, and as a comment made popular in a Tina Turner song....
    "what's (love) age got to do with it?"
    I think that we all compile more and more knowledge about things we need to know in life as we grow older, and this is not detrimental.... if our lifestyle has made us physically infirm, and senile or pre-alsheimerish.... we can see the signs and do something else. Remember Ronald Reagan, and how Nancy guided him thru his last presidential days...
    Keep up the good work... I like your insights.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  212. Ted R.


    I don't think age is that big an issue. Ronald Reagan was elected handily twice and he was up there in years.

    Personally, I also don't have a problem with voting for either a black candidate or a woman candidiate – but I certainly will not be voting for THIS black candidate or THIS woman candidate.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  213. james hoffman, Prescott, MI

    I'm 62 and cannot comprehend how anyone of my age or as old as you, Jack, can fuction with their complete mental awareness.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  214. Vinlander

    Yes, too many old buffers are running the country. Since you have to be 35 to be president, neither Jesus nor Alexander the Great lived long enough to qualify. Seen any political leaders in that class lately?

    March 28, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  215. Vinnie Vino

    Without a doubt, McCain's age is going to be a key factor to his electabilty in the up coming General Election. This along with his McSame policies of following President Bush's policies will doom any hope he may have had of winning the Presidency...

    C.I., New York

    March 28, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  216. Susan


    March 28, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  217. tom


    March 28, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  218. John from Chicago

    Jack, Being president is not an easy job. Its tiring and hard. I bet George cant wait to get out washington and play cowboy again at his little ranch.

    – I dont think McCain has it in him physically to be president. My gramma says it the best.. She is 71, and says John McCain's generation had their chance in politics but now its time to let the young people like Obama have their chance.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  219. Terry from North Carolina

    Unfortunately John McCain is not the best that GOP could come up with, too old , too bad tempered, too close to the present administration and the fact that he has a health issue doesnt make me feel warm and fuzzy about John McCains chances in November. At this point I beleive the Voters would rather have a woman or an african american.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  220. bruce

    Who among the candidates to better understand the duration of "100 years in Iraq?"

    March 28, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  221. Mike in St. Pete, Florida

    It depends on who his running mate will be.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  222. Tommy from San Diego

    Jack unfortunantly I think age is playing a role in this election. You can see it especially in the democratic side of the race when it comes to the how people 18-34 are voting it seems 3-1 for Obama and then those of us 34 and up seem to be staying loyal to Hillary. Age is a touchy subject, I remember when I was 18 I thought 30 was over the hill and over 60 was just too scary to comprehend. But a few life expierences and 16 years later I realize how superficial we are in America.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  223. Anthony

    Well my mother has an old addage that: "the Devil doesn't know becuase he's the Devil. He know because he is old." That speaks to the level of knowleadge and expereinece older folks have from simply having lived that much longer, especially in public service like McCain. That being said, it would be wise for him to pick a more youthful VP – just in case.

    Stamford, CT

    March 28, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  224. Bears in WA

    Yes, especially after watching the sound bite in Jordan.

    March 28, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  225. Cindy

    Age, race and gender are all side issues. I'm looking for a smart person with integrity, who can inspire our nation, and the world, to be a better place. I'm sure all candidates can be that person... if they chose to. But I, myself, will chose just one. Guess which one?

    March 28, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  226. Tre, Chesapeake, VA

    Absolutely age is a determining factor in an election process that has paraded the fact that a younger generation of Americans are voting. As for me, I don't seen the logic of electing a president that has a statistically higher chance of dying in office, and I believe it will have more of an impact once McCain's potential replacement VP is announced

    March 28, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  227. Robert Bateman

    I don't see age as being a bigger factor, seeing that we don't have a crystal ball to know the outcome.
    It certainly is just as much a factor in weighing McCain than anything else, and there's a whole list of things that define him.
    Each candidate has thier own set of factors.
    The final 3 are what the voters have chosen so far.
    We get what we get, factors and all.
    20 Something days until Xsylvania.

    March 28, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  228. Dave from Chicago

    While I'm a Democrat, I come from a very conservative family. Based upon my observations, as far as Republicans are concerned, age is not a factor. Republicans are very loyal and tend to vote for whomever their candidate is, so he can count on the Republican base. Also, Republicans tend to be older anyway. In fact, in my family, John McCain would be referred to as "junior." He's more like them and less likely to support programs that "encourage those lazy people to sit around and collect their government checks." As long as they believe he won't hit them in the wallet, Republicans could care less if he's 35 or 350.

    March 28, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  229. Bob S Philadelphia PA


    McSames age does bother me ! I'm a Clinton backer but if she doesn't make the cut I will vote for McSame if he picks a young VP to run. If he doesn't pick a young VP I WILL NOT VOTE FOR BARACK

    March 28, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  230. MD

    With all due respect to Sen. McCain's personal sacrifices during the Vietnam War, I do not find that good enough reason to elect him as president, regardless of his age.

    I lost my respect when I realized that McCain says whatever it takes to get to the next step of any process he is in. Initially he courted conservatives to get the nomination. He showed up to the White House to get Bush's endorsements, and now he is back making speeches to appeal to conservative-democrats and independents.

    He has changed so many colors within the last year that I wonder if he even knows which role he is going to play when he wakes up in the morning.

    McCain's fiery temper is also an issue that the American people must pay careful attention to. We cannot afford a "hothead" in the White House. McCain makes conscious effort to hide his temper on the campaign trail, but is repeated blow-ups in the past are well documented.

    March 28, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  231. Carol c.

    If it isn't important to the republicans, they aren't watching their own bodies age! Sen. McCain has already shown that he has problems sometimes staying on the subject and has made several "misspokes"–lot of that going around in both parties. His time to be president was 8 years ago–this country had better think about the age process! i suspect the vice president should be be elected will be president before the four years would be up!

    March 28, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  232. Uncle Sam

    John's age must not be too big a factor since he's leading in the general election polls.

    March 28, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  233. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    Yes. Obama's race won't change and neither will Clinton's gender, but McCain's age WILL. He ain't gettin' any younger.

    March 28, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  234. William, Oklahoma

    Well I will not bring up Obama's lack of age, if you don't.

    March 28, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  235. Kevin Downey,Wilmington, Vt.

    In my view, Jack, it's not so much age as it is health at a particular age. sen. McCain's bouts with cancer would put additi0onal pressure on his Veep pick. Pres. Romney; Don't even go there...

    March 28, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  236. Patrick, St. Louis


    The best historical precedent we have in weighing the age risks of political leaders is also the most recent: Ariel Sharon, serving as Prime Minister of Israel at the age of 77, succumbed to a massive stroke leaving him in a vegetative state in 2006. Sharon showed little sign of weakness leading up to the stroke, far less of a concern than the recurring melanoma that Sen. McCain has endured to be sure. Sharon was also followed by Ehud Olmert, who many Israelis believe botched the Israel-Lebanon conflict later that year, not to mention a criminal investigation. Sen. McCain's age is indeed a cause for concern, just as much as his choice for a running mate.

    March 28, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  237. Jay

    As a researcher in the field of aging, I can tell you that Senator McCain's age and related experience should be irrelevant with regard to his electability, perhaps even an advantage in a way. People his age and race in the U.S. have an average of about 13 years of life remaining, and he might fare better because of a very long-lived mother. It's a moot point, however, since there will be a younger democrat in the White House in less than 10 months.

    March 28, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  238. Patricia

    Once the two men stand side by side on the same stage and McCain botches a few facts, age will become a factor.

    Boise, ID

    March 28, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  239. squintz

    I think it makes sense since age in some respect might be an indicator of performance, whereas race and gender really aren't. I remember when Dole ran and the jokes were endless...I just don't see how it will be any different for McCain, fair or not. He's got to watch the slip ups too, he can't appear to have any "senior moments."

    March 28, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  240. Peter S., Coweta County, Georgia

    Forget age.

    What about competence? Shouldn't committee (or subcommittee) chairs be expected to hold meetings and hearings?

    Not to mention the E-word (experience)? Or are we allowed to mention that?

    What about judgment? 20 years to realize your spiritual adviser is a demogogue?

    Read Brooks' op-ed in today's NYT before parroting the garbage that McCain is Bush.

    March 28, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  241. Oliver

    Honestly, I do not see presidential candidate's age, race, or gender relevant to electability at all. It is foolish to choose a candidate based on age. As long as McCain's health is not threatening his ability to serve a full term i do not see how age is a factor in his electability.

    from Scranton, PA

    March 28, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  242. Chuck

    No ... it's not his age ... it's his mindset and old ideas!! You can be young and have old ideas, but being up in years and having ideas which ought to be assigned the dustbin of history - because they have been SO SUCCESSFUL - like war in Iraq and giving the top 1% of tax payers tax breaks while the rest of the country worries about debt, loss of jobs, homes and the burden that their children and grandchildren will inherit. Perhaps McCain could pick an 18 year old as VP (I know this isn't possible of course!) that would make their cumulative age 90 in November and the average would make them one year younger than Obama ... that might quell people's fears about an aging chief executive!!

    March 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  243. Gustavo from Brunswick, Maine

    We laugh when we see Fidel Castro giving the presidency to his "younger" brother Raul, who is 72. But we want to give our presidency to a man who will be 72 by the time he gets to the oval office. Does that make a lot of sense to you?

    March 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  244. Patricia Miller

    I feel that at his age, John McCain's potential health risks are too great to take a chance with. That would make his VP choice really important.
    I also feel that he is out of touch with the times we are living in. He is from 2 generations ago. I guess he is all the Republicans could come up with?

    March 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  245. sarah

    As much as we would all like to believe that we are not predjudice or racist i think that fact is that this country won't vote in a woman or a black man for president. I don't think John McCain's age is even a factor when considering him for president. I am a democrat and i would really like to see some changes in this country but i think we will maybe have to wait until the 2012 election to possibly see another democrat running this country.

    March 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  246. J. Madden

    It's past time for politicians to live the way the rest of us do. At 70 years of age you retire.

    March 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  247. william lee

    I'm not ready for anyone that old to run this country. I'm 60 myself and I understand there are things I can do and things I cannot do. "A man's got to know his limitations." Dirty Harry.

    March 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  248. Kate Leslie

    John McCain's age doesn't bother me nearly as much as his position on Iraq or his really limited grasp of the domestic economy.

    March 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  249. Benita Weaver

    Not to discriminate against age, but in my humble opinion Senator McCain is too old for the most important job of this United States of America. This world is in serious trouble and it will take a younger more robust person to lead this Country back to where it belongs (at the TOP in every aspect!)

    Coral Springs

    March 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  250. Judy

    I do not see John McCain's age as a problem. Every reporter by his side says he is the most accessible and energetic. Perhaps, because he has a daughter younger than Chelsea Clinton. He also has children that are young adults in their thirties. He knows what young people want and also has the wisdom of life experiences. He seems so much more rational on issues that the other two who are fighting all the time.
    Judy from MInnesota

    March 28, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  251. Sharon Wright

    Dear Jack,

    Have you ever lay in a tanning bed? Some bulbs are brighter than others. Age aside, anyone who doesn't know the difference between Shia and Sunni at this point in time is not the brightest bulb in the bed.

    March 28, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  252. laura in astoria, oregon

    i worked for the department of veterans affairs as a claims adjudicator, so i don't worry as much about age as his pow status. we were instructed that the health of pows is constantly impacted and no one was allowed to question any condition a pow might develop be it physical or mental. and they are constantly developing new ones. the va just gives them the benefit of all doubt and awards their claims. i wonder if when his medical records are released he will also release his va medical records. therein lie many illnesses that he may not have to disclose otherwise.

    March 28, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  253. Danielson

    Age is a state of mind, so no, not a factor.

    Age in Washington is a completely DIFFERENT liability, however...and John McCain's time in Washington has crippled his ability to fundamentally CHANGE the way he and hundreds of other "lifers" have been running this country. His Washington Insider age is what we should all fear...haven't we had enough of that running our country?

    March 28, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  254. Ted Costa

    Jack, love your comments and would like to see more of you on CNN.
    Show this to whoever you have to and tell them that us Boomers are tired of youngsters trying to tell us the news when there are more seasoned commentators we want to hear from.

    Ted Costa JD
    Portland, OR

    March 28, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  255. Dennis Shreefer

    I've already contributed once today, but that was before the 'National Journal' described Barack Obama as 'gasp' the most liberal Senator of all.

    Follow the bouncing rubber ball. Ronald Brownstein writes for the National Journal. Ron is married to Eileen McMenarium. Eileen is the Communication's Director for.....again, 'gasp' JOHN McCAIN! Look it up.

    Gee. Gosh. Golly. My. H'mmmmm

    Objective journalism at its best!

    March 28, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  256. Ralph

    YES ! Twice I have not recognized him and wondered who that 80 year old man was. He's still fighting the Vietnam War and refusing to accept and recognize its failure and now trying to correct it in Iraq. On Economics he does indeed parrot President Hoover. He's older than Santa Claus and bares no girfts. Rick, Yakima, Wa.

    March 28, 2008 at 4:47 pm |