When 78-year-old Bernie Sanders had his recent heart attack I wondered if it would ruin his chances for election. I recalled that in the 1950s Dwight Eisenhower suffered heart problems and he finished out two terms in office. I couldn’t remember if he had experienced his attack during his first or second term.
So, I did a little Googling and learned that the four-pack a day smoker suffered an attack while playing golf in September 1955. He was aged 64 and in June of 1956 announced he would run for a second term.
His Democratic opponent was Adali Stevenson and Eisenhower won by one of the largest margins in presidential election history up to that time.
His 1955 attack wasn’t the last of his heart problems, After his reelection, he suffered a mild stroke and before his death, at age 78, he had suffered fourteen cardiac arrests and possibly another seven heart attacks.
So, how will Bernie fare? Well, he’s the same age as Ike at the time of Ike’s death and he’s not the beloved war hero who saved the nation from Adolph Hitler. If Bernie is the last Democrat standing at the end of the primary season he’ll get every Democrat-leaning, Trump-disgusted vote that falls from the trees. But, my gut instinct is that he won’t be that person and his age and health will become major factors.