If John McCain is elected president, what are the chances that he would need to be replaced by Vice President Sarah Palin?
According to the Associated Press, an Atlanta company that specializes in estimating life and health expectancy says there’s a 1 in 4 chance that Palin would need to replace McCain as president due to death or bad health – if he’s elected to a second term. McCain, 72, has a “health expectancy” of 8.4 more years, compared to 21.9 years for Barack Obama, who is 47.
Factors that went into McCain’s health profile include his history of skin cancer (three melanomas), degenerative arthritis from his Vietnam war injuries, moderately high cholesterol, mild vertigo and the fact that he is a former smoker who quit in 1980. For Obama, the biggest health threat is that he’s a smoker. Although he has said he’s trying to quit, he’s not considered a former smoker until he’s been off tobacco for 12 months.
The upshot is: Actuarially speaking, McCain’s choice of Palin is more important than Obama’s choice of Biden because she has a better chance of moving up the chain of command.