If an older person is capable and functioning, why not let him or her run?
Question: How do you feel about a 70-something president?
Robert Butler: Well, in post World War Germany, they had a man in his 80s named Conrad [Inaudible] and probably played a tremendous role in the clarification and getting rid of narcissism and so forth. In post World War France, Charles de Gaulle also played a big role and in Great Britain Winston Churchill. So, we know that older people can be very, very important. In our country, we also picked a father figure after the war, not quite as old, whose name was [Inaudible] and in 1994 I guess it was, we had Bob Dole, 73, run for President and there were people at that time who said maybe he wouldn't have live out his term if he were elected. Well, he is still alive and it is long since he would have in fact left political office. So, I think the most important thing is function, not age. Probably not a bad idea to pick a good Vice-President and in this country, we have had eight Presidents, Vice-Presidents who became President. So, because…largely because of assassinations rather than through natural death, but it is certainly not a bad idea to pick a strong Vice-President, but I see no reason why capable, functioning older people shouldn't run for President, just as they have done in Europe and have done in societies from time immemorial. <p style="text-align: justify" class="MsoNormal"> <p style="text-align: justify" class="MsoNormal">Robert Butler: Well, I think that we didn’t test Eisenhower, we didn’t test de Gaulle. I am not sure there should be any hard and fast rule on that. As Reagan said to Mondale during their debate, he wasn’t going to hold Mondale's youth and inexperience against him. So, I don't know if…I think we get little too simple minded on such matters.
Recorded on: Mar 17 2008