Time for a National Conversation About Age

The Daily News reports that McCain plans to convene his doctors next month to discuss the candidate’s health—probably the first such group assembled since JFK to determine whether a presidential candidate would survive his presidency. What McCain should really be doing, though, is giving “the Age speech.” You know—to finally, once and for all, address that blight on our nation’s history, the divide between old people and young. Here’s where he could take it.

Start with a joke: [Tap tap tap] Is this thing on? Just kidding. No really, is it? I don’t hear things.

Compare yourself to other great old people: My friends, I am old. But you know who else was old? Ronald Reagan. He was 69 when he took his first oath of office. Come January 2009, I will be 72 years old. That means I’ll be even more Reagan-like than Reagan, if you think about it.

Claim good health: All of my 47 doctors agree that I am in excellent health. I have been cancer-free for five years. I did today’s crossword puzzle in less than an hour, and today is a Wednesday. And look at the upside—I have a personal stake in making health care better.

Confront your weaknesses: Some people say I am already beginning to lose my mental faculties. They claim that when I said al-Qaida is helping arm Shiite militia, that it was a sign of my deteriorating mind. I assure you it is not. I believe that shit, honest to God. They also say I am forgetful, and that I don’t remember things about our economy. Well, I assure you, my friends, there’s nothing to forget.

Cite your gene pool: If you need proof that age isn’t a problem, look at my mother, Roberta. [Audience applauds.] Roberta is 95 years old, and she can still beat me at the 50 yard dash. Shot put, too. She may say things I disagree with, but that’s not because of her age. She’s always been one battalion short of a surge.

Connect with young people: Don’t forget that even though I am old, I consider myself an ambassador to the youth. I know all about your Britney Spears and Fleetwood Mac. I may have been tied up during Woodstock, but I did attend a Kennedy Center concert last year with my wife, Cindy. Sorry, my wife, Meghan.

Close with a joke: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I’m older than Frankenstein, and I’ve got more scars than—wait. I’m dirtier than oldenstein, and more Frank than—dammit! Where’d the teleprompter go? Oh, there.