Charlie Black: She’s going to learn national security at the foot of the master for the next four years, and most doctors think that he’ll be around at least that long.
O.K. - let's get it out on the table. What is the probability that John McCain is going to die in office? What does it mean if 'most doctors' think he'll be around that long? And what evidence are they basing it on?
I refuse to make a guess about McCain's health. I don't have enough data. Here's what I do know:
- William Henry Harrison (1841)
- Zachary Taylor (1850)
- Abraham Lincoln (1865, assassinated)
- James Garfield (1881, assassinated)
- William McKinley (1901, assassinated)
- Warren G. Harding (1923)
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1945)
- John F. Kennedy (1963, assassinated)
8/44 = 18.2%
I guess it can't be 10 times higher. But even if the risk of death in office is 1.82%, that's still very high. If we're good Republicans, then we believe Dick Cheney's 1% doctrine:
Cheney observed that the US had to confront a new type of threat, a "low-probability, high-impact event" as he described it, "If there's a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. It's not about our analysis ... It's about our response."
Is there a 1% chance that John McCain will die in office? Yes. Then Republicans should treat it as a certainty. And get Sarah Palin off the ticket.