How McCain’s health creates a global security risk
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2008-10-07

The CNN post Veep Debate poll asked viewers of the October 2 (October 3 in Manila) face off who they thought won between Democrat Joseph Biden and Republican Sarah Palin. They rated Biden as the winner, 51 — 36%.

In the same CNN poll, 87% rated Biden as qualified to be president while only 42% thought Palin was ready to assume the US Presidency.

And yet when asked how they viewed the debate performance of each vice presidential candidate compared to what they expected, 84% said that they thought Palin exceeded their expectations while 64% said that Biden exceeded their expectations. On the surface, it seemed that this finding does not jibe with the other finding that showed Palin losing to Biden in the debate by 15%.

The New York Times October 2 editorial best explains this poll finding on exceeded expectations. The Times editorial opened with these two paragraphs:

“We cannot recall when there were lower expectations for a candidate than the ones that preceded Sarah Palin’s appearance in Thursday night’s vice-presidential debate with Joseph Biden. After a series of stumbling interviews that raised serious doubts even among conservatives about her fitness to serve as vice president, Ms. Palin had to do little more than say one or two sensible things and avoid an election-defining gaffe.

By that standard, but only by that standard, the governor of Alaska did well. But Ms. Palin never really got beyond her talking points in 90 minutes, mostly repeating clichés and tired attack lines and energetically refusing to answer far too many questions.”

My childhood friend and retired PLDT Sr. VP Rosie Roth-Montenegro also had a good explanation for the surprising “exceeded expectations” rating of Palin in the CNN post debate poll. Rosie said: “When you’re coming from zero (or even possibly negative) expectation, scoring a few points would rate you as “exceeding expectations.”

Before the debate, Sarah Palin was reeling from growing public perception that began to see her limitations and doubted her fitness to become president. Palin had a series of disastrous media interviews, the most devastating of which was the interview with Katie Couric of CBS News.

Instead of becoming an asset that will boost the winning chances of John McCain, Sarah Palin started to become a serious liability. More and more people started feeling concerned that she could end up sitting as President. The fear is of course bolstered by the fact that McCain is now 72 and is even older than Ronald Reagan when the “Great Communicator” became President in 1980.

Dr. John McDougall, MD — a renowned physician and nutrition specialist — described the real health risks of John McCain based on McCain’s known medical history. Dr. McDougall is the founder and medical director of the nationally renowned McDougall Program where medical miracles are said to happen through prescribed diet and lifestyle changes.

In his September Newsletter, Dr. McDougall wrote that “the New Yorker magazine describes John McCain’s campaign bus as “stocked with Dunkin’ Donuts and Coke, the staples of the McCain diet.” He grabs a candy bar or a bag of potato chips while he engages reporters for interviews. The Senator has been said to have a weakness for Butterfinger candy bars, jellybeans, coffee, and doughnuts.”

Dr. McDougall noted that McCain is no longer as mobile as he would have wanted to be. “He is limited by his post-traumatic (brought on by war injuries) degenerative arthritis affecting especially his hands and shoulders,” Dr. McDougall added.

Dr. McDougall further wrote: “Based solely on their age, and no other health issues, McCain’s life expectancy is 12 years and Obama’s is 31 years. Over the next 4 years a man of 72 years has a probability of dying of 16% and over 8 years, 38%.” This does not take into consideration other factors like McCain’s 25-year history of smoking, his bout with melanoma (skin cancer) and the tremendous pressure of the job of a US President.

“During the “golden” years a person also has a significant risk of becoming disabled from a variety of conditions, including stroke, dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, heart attack, cancer, and arthritis. After age 70, the risks of all these disabilities increase rapidly with each passing month and are related to the quality of a person’s diet and lifestyle,” Dr. McDougall added.

Dr. McDougall also listed some of the known medications of McCain which gives us an idea of what ails the Republican Presidential Nominee. The list included Simvastatin (Zocor), a statin for lowering cholesterol, Hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic commonly prescribed for hypertension and also rarely prescribed for kidney stone prevention, Amiloride, a potassium-sparing diuretic used to treat hypertension and Aspirin which is commonly prescribed for prevention of heart attacks and other blood clots.

McCain has been battling melanoma since 1996. In 2000, he developed a new melanoma that was categorized as Stage IIA.

“If during his presidency melanoma were to be found to have spread to his liver, brain, lungs, and/or bones, then chemotherapy treatments would undoubtedly be recommended. However, these toxic chemicals would cause him to become disabled, unable to perform his duties, for the few short months he would survive,” Dr. McDougall wrote.

With John McCain’s health outlook, who can now feel safe in the world with the prospect of Sarah Palin sitting as President of the US?

The US President cannot avoid being in the vortex of practically all major world crises. The US President can plunge the whole world into war and this includes the possibility of a nuclear war. George W. Bush already proved what an unfit US President can do with the Iraq War fiasco and the financial crisis that emanated from his neo-con economic gospel.

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