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SEPTEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

The Secret History of Presidential Disease, Sickness and Deception BY JOEL ACHENBACH AND LILLIAN CUNNINGHAM

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his second term as president, Dwight Eisenhower looked like an old man. He’d had a serious heart attack in 1955, requiring extensive hospitalization. Ike later suffered a stroke. In contrast to his seeming senescence, his successor, John F. Kennedy, seemed vibrant and flamboyant. The reality was that Eisenhower was not really that

old he was just 62 when first elected. And Kennedy wasn’t actually that vigorous, and indeed was secretly afflicted by serious medical problems, including Addison’s disease, that his aides concealed from the public. The history of the presidency includes a running thread of illness and incapacity, much of it hidden from the public out of political calculation. A stroke

incapacitated Woodrow Wilson in 1919, for example, but the public had no inkling until many months later. And when Grover Cleveland needed surgery in 1893 to remove a cancerous tumor in his mouth, he did it secretly, on a friend’s yacht cruising through Long Island Sound. Presidential politics reveals a more subtle trend: Age is not what it used to be. American culture has

redefined old age, pushing it back significantly as modern medicine allows people to live longer and remain vigorous well into what used to be considered their dotage. Candidates now run for president when they are already at or near the biblical life span of three score and ten (Psalm 90:10). Hillary Clinton is 68, and Donald Trump is 70. They’re the oldest pair of major-par-

ty candidates in history. If elected, Clinton would be the second-oldest person to assume the presidency, after Ronald Reagan. Trump would be the oldest. The relative agedness call it maturity of the two candidates this year has not gotten a great deal of attention until recent days. But health has suddenly become a preoccupation on the campaign trail in

Profile for Yitzy Halpern

Five Towns Jewish Home - 9-15-16  

Five Towns Jewish Home - 9-15-16

Five Towns Jewish Home - 9-15-16  

Five Towns Jewish Home - 9-15-16