Alex Massie

A Country for Old Men?

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Looking at Americans' desire to elect a 72-year old John McCain president, David Harsanyi digs up the story of William Henry Harrison - the President who one may fairly say obeyed the First, Do No Harm principle. True, Harrison neglected to look after himself but his administration did less damage than any other in American history:

At 68, William Henry Harrison was the country's second-oldest president. A war hero, "Granny Harrison," as his opponents called him, was a tough cat. After winning the presidency, he stood outside on a miserably frigid and damp Washington day to deliver the longest inaugural address — more than 8,400 words — in American history. He then joined the inaugural parade. Harrison, naturally, caught a cold, which led to pneumonia. He never recovered and died 31 days into his term.

[Hat-tip: Nick Gillespie]

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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