Saying that Senator John McCain is too old to be president is like saying that Santa Claus is too fat to be -- Santa Claus! After all, Mr. Claus's girth would appear to be a huge hindrance to his getting down all those chimneys to deliver the goods. Nevertheless, as we all know, S. Claus does his job very well. His heart-attack-waiting-to-happen, size-50 waist hasn't caused him to get stuck in a single chimney yet. However, now that I think about it, he is getting a little old, maybe too old for ... -- which brings us back to McCain.
The question being bandied about these days, thanks to actor Chuck Noris, is: Would McCain be able to withstand the pressures of being the leader of the free world? After all, he would be 77 at the end of his first term. What some folks seem to forget (not you and I of course, but some others less well informed) is that one's chronological age and one's physiological age are not the same.
Let me give you an example. San Francisco's Ray Piva ran 109 miles at the 2003 USA 24-Hour-Run Championship in San Diego. He was 77 at the time! As you can see from this age-defying accomplishment, Piva's biological age, or his real age, as some call it, is nowhere near his chronological age (i.e., how many times he's circled the Sun).
How many of the candidates for President could keep up with the 77-yerar-old Piva for 436 laps of a track? Let's see. It's obvious that John Edwards and Mitt Romney couldn't do it; all that running would muss up their hair, and that suitcoat and tie would be a real hindrance to Romney. How about Ron Paul? Paul would be disqualified for not staying in his lane and for not even being able to stay on the track. What about Dennis Kucinich? Even he would get tired of turning left after a while. And can you picture Hillary in running shorts? No, I'm not going there, neither should you, nor would Hillary. Finally, there's Barack Obama. With all his energy, charisma and youthful enthusiasm, he still wouldn't be able to complete this race. From this we can see that age is not a significant deterrent to having all the energy necessary to run long distances, and this is the very same energy needed to do one's job, even if one's job is running the country.
No, I'm not saying that I would vote for McCain to be president, but neither will I dismiss his candidacy based solely on his age. I can say with certainty, however, that Santa definitely gets my vote to stay on no matter how plump or old he gets.
Calendar years are simply not a true measure of one's ability to function well; Ray Piva has made this very clear. The wisdom, insights and experience garnered during years of captivity and a quarter century in the political arena fighting for his convictions are far more important than McCain's age. Maybe the better question is not whether McCain is too old, Chuck, but rather whether the other, less experienced candidates are too young.
Ed Mayhew is the author of Fitter For Life and Fitter After 50. www.FitterForLife.com