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Do You Consider a Candidate's Age and Mortality?

Do You Consider a Candidate's Age and Mortality?

Undecided Americans watched Sarah Palin's speech last night in part to figure out whether they are comfortable with her being "a heartbeat away" from the presidency. For some, this question takes on extra urgency because John McCain is 72-years-old.

Politico consulted life-insurance experts to assess the likelihood that a Vice President Palin or a Vice President Biden would become President. According to the Social Security Administration’s tables, a man aged 72 years and 67 days (McCain's age on election day 2008) is almost ten times more likely to die before January 20, 2013, than a man aged 47 years and 92 days (Obama’s age on election day). Obama's cigarette use doesn't increase his likelihood too much, either.

Of course, statistics derived from the entire population cannot predict the fate of McCain or Obama. Even so, do you consider whether or not a candidate will live through the term when you're making up your mind?


Join The Conversation
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Supercharger, why are you so against aerial shooting of wolves to control the population? Do you think we should just let animals run rampant, take over our cities, and injure humans? (I personally am against aerial shooting, but not because it's evil. I think it's a waste of money and just trapping wolves is a lot more cost-efficient.)
supercharger5150 supercharger5150 9 years
I don't care what the age is of either candidate. I care about and will vote for the person who has the most similar views as myself. All politics is dirty- I mean c'mon. I see it as voting for the least 'evil'. And shooting wolves from a helicopter is definitely evil ;)
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
I love Evanston, IL. Rac --say no to ILL I just don't know what to think about the age. I know this needs to be a discussion but let's hope if anything happens to him, that by then she would have learned a few things from him and use some of the experiences she had.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
She (and any other VP) do have to be ready on day one. The chances of anything happening to the President may be extremely little, but there is that possibility, and we can't take even the tiniest chance that the VP isn't ready. It may be a sort of understudy position, but it's understudy to the highest office in the nation. Unfortunately, McCain's age and previous health issues do give the question of his VP's qualifications a sense of heightened urgency. But I think that the same goes for Obama, for different reasons (greater chance of assassination attempts).
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I was worried about if Hillary was voted into office, it was only a matter of time before her whole body, not just her face turned completely to stone.
dreamsugar dreamsugar 9 years
Have you see McCain -- he does look very weathered -- but looking at his mother -- he might have a long lifespan -- you never know. I do know I don't want her as President.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Nothing can kill McCain. Just ask the Vietnamese.
stephley stephley 9 years
Missed you Hypno.
princess_eab princess_eab 9 years
Day one after she takes over.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
She would have to be ready on day one because his projected lifespan is shorter than the entire eight years? Is his projected lifespan so short that it wouldn't pass day one?
princess_eab princess_eab 9 years
Absolutely you must consider it. John McCain's projected lifespan is shorter than the 8 years he will be in office if elected twice. Sorry, that's the facts. Doesn't mean you shouldn't vote for the guy, just means his VP pick better be ready on day one.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
Undave, i know, we still have Tim and Susan .....
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 9 years
Nobody is promised anything, McCain can live another 20 years and maybe Obama gets pneumonia or involved in a fatal car crash. His age is not the reason I'm not voting for him (did anybody get that??) I just don't agree with his policies. The only thing amusing about Sarah's speech was Piper licking her hand and fixing baby Trig's hair. I was not impressed at all with Palin's speech. All she did was attack Obama with lame jokes and say Alaska has plenty oil. I liked Giuliani's speech better.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Amen CG. I was hping to see a disappearance of about half of Hollywood in 2004. Unfortunately, it didn't happen.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
Age isnt a factor for me in this Pres Race. Who writes thier own speeches anymore anyway? The people who always threaten to "move" if someone they cant stand gets into office should just do it anyway.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
In regards to Palin I am not completely comfortable if she were to step in, simply because a complete portrait of her has yet to be revealed to the American public. However, as we all know every President has layer upon layer upon layer of advisors from issues of War all the way down to ribbon cutting ceremonies. So again as I've said time and time again it's not about the experience for me it's about the plan what they look like on paper and what they say they're going to do in writing holds a hell of a lot more accountability than oh he was a military hero so now we're safe.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Sure when the average life expectancy for Anglo Americans is 76 years old. Of course you might want to consider that Sen. McCaine is no average American, he's been well kept at least much more so than the average white American. With that in mind I'd say we can bump him up three or four years.
Marni7 Marni7 9 years
Anyone runs the risk of dying in office, regardless of ur political affiliation or age..(look at JFK even) so it probably has crossed people's minds.. Personally, I determine whether I like a candidate based on my beliefs and theirs and whether they correlate or not..age is not a deciding factor for me
WithACherryOnTop WithACherryOnTop 9 years
go joe! :)
rabidmoon rabidmoon 9 years
These days, 72 is not particularly old, to be honest. Age would not sway me from the right candidate, and I have plenty of other issues to question besides McCain's age. We should stop focusing on stupid crap like that, and stick to the issues...but..since he chose someone like Palin as his VP, I can only hope to hell he takes his vits and keeps his temper in check. Palin has no business being VP, much less President of a major world power. This woman spent a lot more time blathering on about herself and badmouthing half of the USA and what THEY stand for, instead of offering any solutions. Vits, John. Take em. "Palin also found Obama's lofty style of rhetoric wanting and devoid of details of where he would take the country if elected although she offered few policy specifics of her own." - Reuters "I was impressed by that. I also was impressed with what I didn't hear. I didn't hear a word mentioned about the middle class or health care or how people are going to fill up their tanks. I didn't hear a single word about how you're going to get a kid through college. So I was impressed by the speech but also about what I didn't hear spoken." - Joe Biden, after Palin's speech, on "Good Morning America"
WithACherryOnTop WithACherryOnTop 9 years
i think people are scared because of all the skin cancer. many presidents have died in office so it's a real possibility the sarah palin could be our next president.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Why is McCain more likely to die tomorrow? McCain is in better health than most people. WHere do you get that he isn't in the best of health?
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i don't really factor age into my choice. remember that we're talking about 4-8 years in office - so that's not going to push someone over the edge. also, we need to remember that up until recently, presidents were older - and when bill clinton came in, he was the young guy who started the trend for younger and younger leaders. i think that it's fine for a 72 yr old to be in the mix, and i think that we should look at experience rather than life expectancy.
sonya-ina sonya-ina 9 years
The simple truth: McCain is old, and not the most healthy man in the world. Sure, anyone can die tomorrow, but McCain is at a higher risk. God forbid McCain dies and leaves Sarah Palin as President. I'd move to Europe before I accept her as our commander in chief.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
Oh, no. The dems use fear of republicans all the time.
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