John McCain needs a Joe Camel

With the 2008 presidential campaigning already heavily underway, it's no surprise that politicians are testing the waters with the hottest voting bloc: high school students, many of whom will conveniently turn 18 by the time November '08 rolls around.

And Arizona Senator John McCain is no different. He trekked to New Hampshire Tuesday to stand on a (small) soapbox espouse the values of paying attention to news that marks history, like decisions about Iraq.

But it seems the students were already fairly knowledgeable. They knew that, if elected, 71-year-old McCain would be the oldest president. And we all know what happens to old people. They eat at Country Kitchen Buffet, hate young people, and have large medicine cabinets to combat senility. I guess that's keeping up with the news, or at least Jon Stewart.

McCain aside, the potential geriatric ward of GOP candidates (excluding the young Mitt Romney, whose candidacy is shaky for other reasons) will have make do without the hip the Democrats seem to have gleaned from their youth and vigor. Perhaps McCain should take a tip from Big Tobacco and adopt a cuddly mascot.

Maybe the election will turn into a battle between the Ancients and the Moderns, and maybe I've just read one too many philosophy books, but when the hottest piece of news coming out of a campaign stop is how the audience worried about a guy's age, maybe McCain should be worrying about more than just coddling the young.

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