Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: E-mail warns of health issues associated with the Obama-Biden ticket.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, September 2008]
Origins: The 2008 U.S. presidential election features a candidate (Senator John McCain) who, if elected, would be the oldest person ever to assume the office of President of the United States and would reach the life expectancy for white males in the U.S. before the end of his first term. Accordingly, this election cycle has brought greater focus to the issue of vice-presidential candidates as potential presidents themselves rather than merely as political figureheads chosen to bring "balance" to their parties' tickets.
The item quoted above is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek response to the issues that have been raised about John McCain's age and the political experience (or lack thereof) possessed by his vice-presidential candidate, Alaska governor Sarah
It is true that Barack Obama's father and mother died at relatively young ages (46 and 52, respectively), but neither of those deaths is really predictive of a significantly shortened life span for Barack Obama: His father died of injuries sustained in an automobile accident, a factor that has no genetic component whatsoever, and his mother died of ovarian/uterine cancer, a condition that is quite unlikely to afflict Barack Obama. Although any form of cancer in a family can be a significant data point in a person's medical history, one also has to consider that all four of Barack Obama's
(Barack Obama has a background as a
Barack Obama's running mate, 65-year-old Senator Joe Biden, twice underwent surgeries in 1988 to correct brain aneurysms that were commonly described as "near-fatal," a factor that might legitimately raise concerns about whether he will remain sufficiently healthy to hold office for the next several years. However, the specter that his medical history might potentially elevate Representative
Of course, some tragic event other than medical illness (e.g., accident, terrorist attack, assassination) could strike the president and vice-president simultaneously and thereby place the Speaker of the House in the White House, but that possibility exists right now and will continue to exist no matter which party wins the next election. There are also no guarantees that
Last updated: 30 September 2008
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