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Veteran California Democrat taunts John McCain on age

May 6, 2008 |  6:56 am

Bob Mulholland, for years a key operative in the California Democratic Party, still is living up to his long-established reputation as a ready source for the acerbic, anti-Republican quote.

Recently, Mulholland was up to the task when contacted by the Arizona Republic for comment on the springtime pledge from the John McCain camp that come fall, he'll make a serious run for California's 55 electoral votes.

No Republican presidential candidate has carried the state since 1988 -- in fact, none has even come close. And Mulholland scoffed at the latest California-will-be-in-play insistence by a GOP White House contender.

"We hear that joke every four years," Mulholland says in the Republic story. "What else could McCain say? McCain will also say that he's going after the youth vote."

Mulholland's barb aimed at McCain's bid to become the oldest person elected to a first presidential term can't be simply dismissed as a tart-tongued wisecrack. Several polls over the last few months have found that it might prove harder for voters to overlook a bias about age than for gender or race.

Jonathan Martin of addressed the issue head-on in a piece that popped up Sunday headlined: "Will age be just a number in '08?"

A passel of Republicans have experience dealing with the topic as a result of Ronald Reagan's successful presidential runs in 1980 and 1984 and Bob Dole's failed bid in 1996. And, Martin reports, "Veterans of both campaigns agree that with McCain as the GOP nominee, age will again be an issue -- and say the Reagan and Dole experiences offer the McCain team some best-case and worst-case scenarios on how to deal with it."

The rest of the article can be read here.

-- Don Frederick