You know, I think there’s something to this line of thinking, but it doesn’t necessarily have to do with age. I’d love to live inÂ a world where candidates were judged solely on their abilities and policies (and I think McCain might run into plenty of problems in that world, too), but we definitely do not inhabit such a place, and so it’s not entirely awful to say what many Americans will certainly discover between now and November of 2008: Senator McCain looks strange. Part of this has to do with his age, and a great deal of it has to do with his health, including problems of chronic pain stemming from injuries sustained in Vietnam.
It’s hard to know how such considerations will affect voter behavior, particularly since one aspect of his appearance (his white-maleness) might end up being very different from that of his Democratic opponent, but it’s something worth considering. Americans seem to not like voting for unhealthly looking men.