The problem with wealthy Republican John Sydney McCain III running for a sixth term has nothing to do with his age. Far from it. In the past, age was prized for its experience and wisdom. Sen. Carl Hayden won funding for the Central Arizona Project when he was 91.
The shame is two-fold. Unlike Hayden and almost all of the congressional delegation during the 20th century, McCain has done nothing to help Arizona, a state deeply dependent on the federal government. Second, all of McCain's seasoning has been squandered on flip-flopping, opportunism, and working the Sunday news shows. What a waste.
The man he lost the presidency to in 2008 was another senator, freshman Barack Obama. I have a prediction: When Obama is out of office, he will be missed by most, not least for being No Drama Obama. But that is a column for another day, another year.
His unfortunate precedent was to make it appear legitimate for a freshman senator to run for the presidency (with an assist from McCain, who chose the half-term governor of Alaska as his running mate). Few people have Obama's intellect, maturity, and integrity — least of all (not so wealthy) Republicans Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz and Randal Howard "Rand" Paul, but they are running for the most powerful office in the world. (So, too, is Marco Rubio, another- first-term senator, who announced after this column originally posted).