Politely Calling John McCain Old

How does age factor into your choice of candidate?

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As you may have heard, if elected, John McCain will be the oldest U.S. president in history. Geriatric jokes about the 72-year-old candidate are an easy choice for the late-night talk show hosts.

Senator McCain is well past many American aging milestones: Social Security eligibility (62), the age at which most people retire in the United States (63), qualifying for Medicare (65), and the age at which delaying claiming Social Security no longer produces higher payouts (70). Although not a baby boomer, he may share the work ethic of boomers who plan to work as long as possible because they like their job or desire to serve the community, but perhaps not the mentality of those who keep working because they need the money and have no other choice.

Ronald Reagan famously turned his age into a positive in 1984 when he quipped, "I will not make age an issue in this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience." But both current tickets for the presidency now contain a mix of young and old viewpoints.

Slate has collected clips of Democrats making veiled references to McCain's experience (read: age).

Tell us, does the age of a presidential candidate matter to you?

McCain, John
2008 presidential election

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