Politicians are so divorced from reality many have partially slipped into another dimension.
It hasn’t always been this way. If George Washington had appeared on national television in 1789 and spouted as many falsehoods as we hear today we’d all be speaking British.
Now, presidents and presidential candidates serve up more whoppers than Burger King.
A recent example? How about when President Obama said, and I quote, “There has never been any man or woman more qualified for [the office of president] than Hillary Clinton.”
There’s no doubt Hillary Clinton has street cred. She’s lived in the White House, served two terms as a U.S. senator and was Obama’s first secretary of state.
During her eight years in the Senate she wrote three pieces of legislation that became law: one created a historic site, one named a highway, one named a post office.
George Washington led a ragtag group of soldiers in a lengthy war that gave U.S. independence from the greatest military power on earth.
Maybe Obama forgot about that dude.
But the biggest stretcher of truth may be Donald Trump, who alleges he’d be the most physically fit president of all time.
Trump’s doctor, Harold Bornstein, started the madness by writing, “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”
The good doctor may be writing himself too many prescriptions.
Age means less now than ever, but it still means something.
Trump, who turned 70 in June, would be the oldest person ever elected president. Clinton, 68, would be the second oldest president to take office after Ronald Reagan, who was 69.
I’m no doctor (or statistician or columnist really) but the chances of Trump being the “healthiest individual” ever elected president seem lower than his poll numbers south of the border.
I theorize the healthiest presidents are those who live longest.
Tales of the aforementioned George Washington make him sound like a superhero. He was a powerful man for the time — 6 feet 2 inches and 190 pounds — and could endure pain as well as the modern voter. But he died at 67 after battling tuberculosis, malaria and smallpox.
Teddy Roosevelt was sickly as a child, but a beast of a man. At 42, he was also the youngest person to ever serve as president. Despite the hearty persona he died when he was only 60.
Since the advent of modern medicine everyone is living longer — especially presidents.
Presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan both died at 93. President George H.W. Bush is 92 and counting.
When Richard Nixon was shamed out of office in 1974, no former presidents were living. When Obama leaves office there may be five, including my pick for the healthiest of all time — Georgia’s very own Jimmy Carter, who took office at a relatively spry 52.
Carter, 91 and a cancer survivor, is the fourth longest-lived president of all time. Last week, he was in Memphis hammering nails in 104-degree heat to build a Habitat for Humanity home.