Crock and top role – as oldies vie for US presidency

By JOHN MacDONALD

Ageism’ has become as toxic as racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and all the other dangerous -isms that are pitfalls for the unwary and politically incorrect.

How to watch the presidential town halls live - CNNPolitics
Old or Older.

Perhaps that’s why a unique aspect of the US presidential election has gone largely unremarked. No such constraints here, so if you haven’t noticed, here it is:

The candidates are the oldest in presidential history.

Incumbent Donald Trump is already the oldest president of all time, being 70 years and 220 days when inaugurated in 2017. He is now 74 as he bids for a second term. But his opponent, Joe Biden, is already 77 and will be 78 just 17 days after the election, almost as old as Trump will be should he win and finish a second term.

Biden will be all of 86 should he win and complete two terms, twice the age of John Kennedy, the youngest elected president on record, who was 43 when he defeated Richard Nixon in 1960.

What Mike Pence really thinks of Kamala Harris
The VPs.

This raises another unspoken point: what are the prospects of Mike Pence or Kamala Harris, the would-be vice-presidents, succeeding in office? History is on their side.

Of the 45 people who have served as US president, eight have died in office: four were assassinated, and four died of natural causes. In each case, the VP has succeeded to the presidency. This practice is governed by the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States constitutionratified in 1967, which declares that, “the Vice President shall become President” if the president is removed from office, dies, or resigns.

Let’s put aside the four who were assassinated – Lincoln, Garfield, McKinlay, and Kennedy – and consider those who died of natural causes.

What Really Killed William Henry Harrison? - The New York Times
William Henry Harrison.

*      The first was William Henry Harrison, on April 4, 1841, only one month after his inauguration, aged 68.

*      Next was Zachary Taylor, died on July 9, 1850, aged 65

*       Warren G. Harding suffered a heart attack, and died on August 2, 1923, aged 57.

*       On April 12, 1945, Franklin D. Roosevelt collapsed and died, just after beginning his fourth term in office, aged 63.

Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life' Examines The Personal Traits That  Marked FDR For Greatness : NPR
President Roosevelt

None were in their 70s, unlike Trump and Biden who are in mid- to late progress through their eighth decade. The odds favour their running mates, quite apart from history and the candidates’ ages.

Trump is recovering from Covid-19, alone a contributor to shortened life expectancy, obese, and lacking physical exercise. Biden’s physician is on record saying that he receives treatment for irregular heartbeat, high cholesterol, and has a history of aneurysms. 

Neither has made the age and health of the opponent a campaign issue, probably because both are well aware that it cuts two ways. But on election day, will Americans consider whom they might really be voting for as president – Mike Pence or Kamala Harris?

President Gerald Ford trips and falls down the steps of Air Force One, upon  arrival in Vienna, Austria, for a state visit in 1975 - [980x1463] :  HistoryPorn
Gerald Ford takes a tumble.

Who can remember vice-presidents who have succeeded to the presidency, far less those who didn’t or were losing running mates? Lyndon Johnson, maybe, successor to the assassinated Kennedy. But Gerald Ford? Chiefly remembered for being the eminently forgettable replacement for the disgraced Richard (but still an improvement on the original running mate, Spiro Agnew). 

Mike Pence (age 61) seems pretty much in the Ford category, hardly noticeable after four years as VP. And Kamala Harris (55) would be the first woman president, and a black woman of apparently very conservative inclination in some areas.

Like their senior partners, neither seems to have immediate or widespread appeal. “A contest between the evil of two lessers,” as one commentator so memorably described US presidential elections.

Thinking of that could well change the minds of many come November 3. But in which direction?

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HAPPILY, THERE’S NOTHING MUCH GOING ON IN THE WORLD…

SO MPs FELT FREE TO SPEND THE DAY DISCUSSING PEPPA PIG… AND PUDDLES

We’re fortunate, are we not, that he has an impressive knowledge of so much!

JUST AN ORDINARY TUESDAY IN THE DISUNITED QUEENDOM

I understand that they intend(ed) to so the same thing with the Isle of Man and the Bailiwick of Guernsey, with much the same response.

According to the FT, the UK government has threatened to take control of London transport if the Mayor fails to do what they want him to do.

The Mayor of Manchester has been put back in his box by Mr Johnson with a grant of £22 million for a job which at least will cost £60 million. If only Andy Burnham was a “technology tutor ” eh?

Ex-model said Boris Johnson only came round for technology lessons | Daily  Mail Online

And an ex-deputy president of the Supreme Court of the UK says that devolved powers are rendered useless by the Internal Market Bill.

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EH? WHAT?

You probably though that pretty much you’d seen the worst when you watched Gove sweat and stutter, red-facedly whilst drinking enough water to relaunch the Titanic in, yesterday on the Marr show. Tad too much something on Saturday night, Mick?

But today he put in a performance in the Commons that even Theresa couldn’t believe… and remember she was the girl who once ran through a cornfield.

According to Mr Peston: The face of former PM is an absolute picture when @michaelgove tells her British people would be safer from crime and terrorism if the government fails to agree crime and security agreements with EU. She could seen saying “what?!!!!!”

Image

So Gove is too much for the old Magic Money Tree denier and lord knows, she could make stuff up!

Michael Gove drinking water is the new Ed Miliband eating a sandwich |  Metro News

Who would have thought it?

And while we are on the subject of “Eh? What?… Remember Ann Widdecombe, she who was a politician, then was a star of Strictly Come Dancing … remember this?

Well Ms Widdecombe has announced that she didn’t think that people wanted to see same sex couples dancing together on television.

This has occasioned many people to comment about how little they had wanted to see her dancing on SCD, but had had to put up with it.

And then there was one person who pointed out that this was something that had been happening for many a year and wondering how she had managed to miss it!

JUST FOR A LAUGH

She: “Honey, please don’t forget to buy bread when you’re coming home and  your girlfriend Anne is also here and says hello.”

He: “Who’s Anne?”

She: “Nobody. I just wanted you to respond so I know you saw my message.”

He: “But I’m with Anne right now.”

She: “What? Where are you?”

He: “Near Neighbourhood Bakery.”

She: “Wait. I’m coming right over!”

Five minutes elapse.

She: “I’m at Neighbourhood Bakery. Where are you?”

He: “At work. While you’re there, please buy the bread.”

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25. This is Munguin’s application to join the Tory Party. Ah, had you going there, eh! Nah he just enjoyed taking the mickey out of the country’s stupidest Tory.

Thanks to: Brenda, Brendan, Erik, John, Andi, Graham… and a mystery contributor. No, it’s not Trumpy! Sit down and behave at the back!

If I have inadvertently forgotten anyone feel free to write in to Munguin with our complaints. I mean, he won’t actually give a damn, but it will give you something to do. 🙂

SOPPY SUNDAY

Virginia Zoo welcomes a baby orangutan, the first of its kind born at the  zoo - The Virginian-Pilot - The Virginian-Pilot
1 Morning all. What’s up?
2. Don’t you wish you were here?
3. This is my cat. ..well, kitten really.
4. I’m a Gilbert’s Potoroo, for your information. I bet none of you lot knew that, cept maybe for Kangaroo, Munguin and Quokka (who definitely knows it). I’m VERY rare…a bit like Munguin.
5. Munguin says he wants his garden to look like this. Munguin would!
6. Far too many cat like creatures about here. That’s what I say.
7. What? It’s not only Giraffes that have long necks you know. Can you imagine what it’s like if I get a sore throat? Eh? You’d never thought about that, had you?
8. Look into my eyes…
9. Oi, do I take pictures of you eating your dinner and send them to Munguin’s worldwide publishing? Give a cat some peace will ya?
10. Montana.
11. I’ll be with you shortly. Don’t you know it’s rude to stare?
Lome Togo stock photos and royalty-free images, vectors and illustrations |  Adobe Stock
12. Lomé, Togo.
Giraffe Fact Sheet | Blog | Nature | PBS
13. What was that bird saying about my neck?
Life cycle of the Koala | Australian Koala Foundation
14. Hold on tight.
How do frogs survive winter? Why don't they freeze to death? - Scientific  American
15. If I hear Munguin talking about cuisses de grenouille, I’ll be very upset.
I'll get by with a little help from my friends! Heart-warming pictures show  the curious bond between some truly unlikely animal friends - Caters News  Agency
16. This is my dog… and this is my bird!
17. Peanut, a golden cheeked gibbon.
16 More Unlikely Animal Friends (9.20.11)
18. You’ll have to do better than that if you want to separate the sheep from the goats.
19. I bet old Liz doesn’t have as nice a throne as this.
Baby orangutans traumatized after smuggling attempt - National - The  Jakarta Post
20. You want a drink? Well come back next week and we’ll see if there’s any left.

Munguin sends his thanks to: John and Quokka.

HOW CAN A COUNTRY THAT HELD ALL THE CARDS IN 2016 END UP WITH NOTHING IN 2021?

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Sturdy Alex’s compilation of absurd flip flops from our “leaders”!
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From the LSE, via Russ on Twitter @russincheshire

As Gary says, get your coat.

I WONDER HOW MUCH THE INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT PAID HIM TO MAKE THIS VIDEO

BECAUSE I’M SURE HE’S NEVER DONE ANYTHING FOR NOTHING

I’m sure I recognise his name from somewhere. He may have been an editor of a comic. He certainly sounds sufficiently inarticulate and biased, so I’m guessing the Star or the Express or the Sun. Maybe 30-40 years ago? But as it goes, I thank him for his honesty and I’m sure that a lot Welsh people will too. It seems that he likes the Northern Irish. I suspect he must have a fondness for Arlene and her lovely orange order, but I’m rather refreshed that he doesn’t like us, because he’s not the kind of fellow you’d want liking you… and I very much hope that our departure won’t rekindle any affection he might once have had for us.