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The Presidential Health Debate
The presidential debates are scheduled to begin tonight with a focus on economic and foreign policy. But one subject has been less of a debate and more of a question in the minds of voters: Which presidential candidate is healthy enough to sit in the Oval Office? Both candidates have released their medical histories, and here's what we know:
*Arizona Senator John McCain, Republican Nominee: If McCain is elected, his ripe old age of 72 would make him the oldest first-term president. When his 1,173-page health history was released in May, McCain’s doctors said he was in “excellent health.” The senator has suffered a bout with melanoma, a skin cancer, which he had removed from his left temple. McCain also takes a medicine for cholesterol, aspirin to thwart blood clots and medication to avert kidney stones. He smoked for 25 years, quitting in 1980. McCain often refers to his 96-year-old mother as proof that good genes run in the family.
*Illinois senator Barack Obama, Democratic Nominee: The 47-year-old quit smoking in 2007, using Nicorette gum to help ease cravings. Like his running mate, Obama’s doctors have also deemed him as being in “excellent health.” The senator is known for his penchant for basketball and water sports.
Political pundits say that a presidential candidate’s health history has become essential to the voting process. President Bill Clinton was asked to lose weight when he came into office, current President George W. Bush has admitted to early drinking problems, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt hid a history of hypertension and cardiac problems throughout his terms, dying of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1945 during his fourth term. He also had polio.
We want to know: Would a president’s state of health sway your voting decision? [The Miami Herald]