Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

McCain's Backward Media March

For a campaign in which he faces a quarter-of-a-century age gap with Barack Obama, John McCain has been busy searching for the media's Fountain of Youth, last night on SNL and with a forthcoming interview in Glamour.

Taking a leaf from his hero, Ronald Reagan, who was even older when running for reelection in 1984, McCain is making jokes about his age. In a presidential debate back then, the 73-year-old Reagan deadpanned about Walter Mondale: "I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience."

In a parody political ad on Saturday Night Live, McCain emoted, “Good evening, my fellow Americans. I ask you: what should we be looking for in our next president? Certainly, someone who is very, very, very old...I have the courage, the wisdom, the experience and most importantly, the oldness necessary."

He added that controlling government spending was about being able to look your children in the eye, “or in my case my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren and great-great-great grandchildren--the youngest of whom are nearing retirement.’’

Interviewed by Glamour, whose readers are young women under 35, McCain says he finds the website,, "hilarious." Told that Scrabble, the Golden Gate Bridge and area codes are on the list, he added, "Yes indeed. Not to mention the Internet and...maybe even color TV."

Technically, experimental color sets predate him, but not cable TV. More importantly, he is senior to the whole generation of Baby Boomers, who now make up the majority of older voters.

But that won't faze the potentially most ancient President ever to take office, who has been one of Jon Stewart's most frequent Daily Show guests. Next stop: Sesame Street.

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