While Ted Kennedy and Michelle Obama were rocking the Democratic convention in Denver, John McCain made his 13th appearance with Jay Leno to joke about his age.
But McCain's age is no joke. He will turn 72 on Friday and would be halfway to 73 if elected and sworn in on January 20. That would make him the oldest first-term President ever, two years older than Ronald Reagan. He has survived four skin cancers (melanomas), including one in 2000 that was classified as Stage IIa.
The United States cannot afford the risk that McCain would die suddenly in the middle of an international crisis.
Nor can we afford the risk of dementia. 22% of Americans over 70 are affected by mild cognitive impairment, while 13% of Americans over 65 have Alzheimer's. Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at age 83, but early signs were evident during his first term. Britain's "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher developed dementia at age 75.
McCain has never had an Alzheimer's test, even though he has 6 of the 10 warning signs , including his inability to remember recent facts like the number of homes he owns, the $1M lawsuit he filed in 1990, or the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
John McCain owes America a thorough test for Alzheimer's and cognitive impairment long before Election Day.