Jonathan Rauch imagines the next turn in the absurd McCain-Palin campaign. He imagines a McCain-Shcmidt conversation that goes something like this:

"Our tracking polls show age is the public's biggest remaining concern about you, sir. People love Sarah as running mate or VP. But when we test the words 'President Palin' ... "

"So? What are you suggesting?

"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 ...

"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.

When the truth is for fools and poseurs, why not? It goes on. And if this was the message, Jonah Goldberg would be echoing it.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to