You know, if I could vote for this guy, I think I would for simply one reason: his age.
Joe Newman is 101 years old and is running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from Sarasota, Fla.
Why this guy? Beats me. I don’t know a thing about him, other than what he says on the link attached here. According to CBS.com, “Touting his breadth of life experience, the centenarian has launched a campaign as a write-in candidate against four-term Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan. He told a local news station he wanted to run as a write-in candidate instead of seeking a major party nomination ‘because I want to feel free to criticize the Democrats and Republicans.’”
I’m reminded of one of the beauties of getting to such a distinguished age. You can say whatever you want and no one is going to be as dismissive if you were, say, half as old.
I also am reminded of a tribute that the late great broadcast journalist David Brinkley paid to U.S. Sen. Wayne Morse, D-Ore. Morse at one time represented my home state of Oregon and in 1974 was running to recapture the seat he lost six years earlier to young Republican upstart Bob Packwood. Morse died during the 1974 campaign.
Brinkley noted that Morse was one of two senators to vote against the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964, the act that essentially gave President Lyndon Johnson permission to wage all-out war against North Vietnam.
Brinkley’s tribute noted that Morse was 64 at the time he cast the “no” vote. The other one came from 77-year-old Sen. Ernest Gruening of Alaska. He said both men “weren’t on the take or on the make,” meaning their age liberated them to vote their consciences.
I’m guessing Joe Newman is similarly liberated. I hope he wins.