Moderate Left Bias
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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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Sen. Bernie Sanders reportedly is recovering and resting, following heart surgery in which stents were implanted to correct an arterial blockage.
As with people of good faith, of any political persuasion should, we wish Senator Sanders only the speediest and most successful of recoveries.
However, we also cannot help but think that this episode will intensify the questions and doubts that will arise from Sanders–and fellow Democrat Joe Biden, both in their late ’70s–as they continue to run for president.
For those old enough to remember, it recalls the headlines back in the 1980s, when as the oldest president ever to serve to that point–Ronald Reagan–would be taken to the hospital to have polyps removed and the American people waited to hear whether the president had developed cancer.
Of course, Reagan never did, and it was later Alzheimer’s Disease which he had to battle in the end.
But now we have Sanders or Biden, who if elected, would serve into his ’80s–and if fortunate to be re-elected–well into his mid ’80s.
Now, a stent implantation isn’t, in itself, the end of the world. But it is just one more reminder of the mortality of these older candidates.
Reagan waved away concern over his advanced age by making a joke of it in the midst of a presidential debate on his way to re-election.
It’s not clear quite the same thing would work for Biden and Sanders. But both men potentially face nagging questions over their health related to their advanced ages.
And both would be well advised to finally take the issue on, in a head-on and forthright way which could satisfy the majority of American voters.
It’s not immediately clear what that would look like, but unless both men put these issues behind them once and for all, they will be hobbled by them.
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