Alex Massie

The Future is Youthiness

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Jonathan Rauch has a terrific, hilarious column about the McCain campaign. Highly recommended. Excerpt:

"We need to go on offense. Our theme is that Barack Obama is too old for the job and that the public needs a younger, more vigorous brand of leadership. OK, here are some scripts we're looking at."

"Wait, wait, wait. Wait. Do you need time off? I can give you a few days. Take some time. You've earned it."

"No, Senator. If you'll just look at these scripts --"

"Steve, April Fool's Day is seven months off. You want me to say Obama is too old to be president and I'm not?"


"I'm younger than Obama?"

"Not younger, exactly. More youthful. You have more, um, youthiness. What is 72? That's just a numeral. Same two digits as 27. It's ink on a driver's license. You have the adventurous spirit of youth. You're the innovator, the reformer. You may be older in years. You're older technically. But you're younger in qualifications. That's the age that really matters. Qualificationswise, you're entering your prime, and you have the experience to prove it. You're like Reagan, although you're even younger, though not technically.

"Whereas your opponent? Tired ideas. 'Bitter.' Same old fresh face as in 2004. His best days are already behind him and he never accomplished anything. Peel back the public-relations front and the media hype, and he's over the hill."

"Steve. This is preposterous. You can't honestly ask this head of white hair to go out there and say I'm younger than Barack Obama. I'm a grandparent."

"So is Sarah, in a few months. Grandparents aren't old anymore. They're the new aunts and uncles. Especially in Alaska. Look, let me give you some context--why I think we have a good shot here."

Do, as they say, read the whole thing.

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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