Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dems Say McCain Is Just Too Old

Earlier this year, DNC Chairman Howard Dean promised that Democrats would not make an issue of Sen. John McCain's age in this election. The Washington Post quoted Dean as saying, "I doubt we will bring it up in the election," dismissing the idea as a tactic Republicans might employ but Democrats never would. "There is somewhat of a higher ethical bar on what we do," Dean said. "We don't have any Lee Atwaters or Karl Roves on our side." Yet, that didn't stop a top labor and Democratic operative from establishing a blog entitled, Younger Than McCain, mocking his age, 72, through YouTube video clips and words. Virtually every Democratic-leaning blog in the country pounced all over "The Younger Than McCain" theme, including Blue Indiana's Thomas Cook. Cook, a paid political operative of the Indiana Democratic Party, picked up the theme again today with a post entitled, "John McCain: Still Really, Really Old."

Is it fair to mock McCain's age? The President of the 60-Plus Association expressed disapproval of age being used against McCain in this presidential election. Jim Martin told the Wall Street Journal it's straight up prejudice:

“Ageism is one of the last remaining prejudices that parades openly in our society and it is discouraging to hear a sitting U.S. representative, a senior himself at 75, state that age is an indicator of performance or ability,” Martin said in a statement.

It is a bit ironic that Democrats, who hail such legislative achievements as The Age Discrimination in Employment Act to protect older workers from employment discrimination based on their age, would play the age card against McCain. What is even more ironic is the excuse Cook used to raise McCain's age. Yesterday, McCain told reporters he was relying on the popular search engine, Google, to vet his vice presidential running mate. "You know, basically it's a Google," he said to laughter at a fund-raising luncheon when asked how the selection process was going. "What you can find out now on the Internet -- it's remarkable." Reacting to McCain's comment, Cook wrote, "That just screams 'capable to deal with the challenges of a digital age,' doesn't it?"

As it turns out, the Obama campaign would have done well by heeding McCain's sage advice. If Obama's campaign had bothered googling the name of Jim Johnson, the man he has appointed to head up his vice presidential search committee, he would have learned about some sweetheart loans Johnson has received from Countrywide Financial Corp., the same sub-prime lender Obama has repeatedly bashed across the country throughout his campaign. Without the aid of a teleprompter, Obama struggled to answer a reporter's question about Johnson's ties to Countrywide:

"Well, look," Obama said, "the, the, I mean - first of all I am not vetting my VP search committee for their mortgages, so you’re gong to have to direct -- "

"But shouldn’t you?" asked Miller.

"Well, no," Obama said. "It becomes sort of a, um, I mean, this is a game that can be played - everybody, you know, who is tangentially related to our campaign, I think, is going to have a whole host of relationships -- I would have to hire the vetter to vet the vetters. I mean, at some point, you know, we just asked people to do their assignments.

Yeah, we get the point. "Those rules don't apply to me, just the other guy." "I can make fun of Hillary Clinton's sex." "I can make cracks about John McCain's age." But if you dare criticize me about anything, you are obviously a racist."

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