McCain subject to praise, criticism

Published 7:39 pm Tuesday, September 16, 2008

By By Steve Flowers
The Republican National Convention was held in Minneapolis last week, and John McCain was officially chosen as their presidential nominee. The four-term Senator from Arizona wrapped up his party’s nomination early.
McCain’s life is a bona fide, American military, made for movies, hero story. A documentary shown periodically on television, and continuously during the Republican Convention, portrays the amazing McCain epic. His grandfather and father were products of the U.S. Naval Academy and both became decorated admirals. John McCain also graduated from Annapolis and was thrust into combat in the Vietnam War. He barely escaped death in an early catastrophic crash. Then, after recovering from that near death experience, was shot down in a flight over Vietnam and was imprisoned for five and a half years in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. He was subjected to severe torture during that entire period.
If elected, McCain will arrive in the Oval Office as one of the most distinguished military men since George Washington to be elected President. His military record, coupled with his three decades in Congress, makes him unquestionably the most qualified candidate running this year.
Along with tenure and qualification comes age. McCain’s age has become and will be an issue, especially when his rival is only 47 years old. If elected, John McCain who turned 72 years old this year will be the oldest first-term president in history. .
McCain has been very open and revealing with all of his medical records. He is in excellent health for 72. However, McCain has been subjected to a hard life that has probably taken its toll and put a lot of mileage on the Arizona Senator and former POW. Five and a half years of torture where the enemy keeps you in a box and periodically breaks your bones will affect you.
McCain’s age will definitely be an issue. It already has been. Polling indicates that the issue of McCain’s age is a concern among about 32 percent of voters. Interestingly the biggest group of voters who say they are concerned about McCain’s age are people who are older than him.
Now that Labor Day is over and the nominees are officially in place, it should be an interesting 48 days to Election Day.
Steve Flowers is Alabama’s leading political columnist. His column appears weekly in 70 Alabama newspapers. Steve served 16 years in the State Legislature.

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