The Senate seems as dinged up as ever this summer. Is it coincidence, or are senators just getting older?
It’s both. So there’s no reason to become alarmed that some wave of infirmity is taking over the place, just because three of its hundred members have gone public with a significant health challenge in recent weeks.
Most prominent is 75-year-old Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, who revealed right after his retirement announcement this spring that he had been permanently blinded in his right eye by the mishap in his Nevada condo on New Year’s Day.
Two weeks ago came the disclosure from Johnny Isakson, the only Republican currently chairing two committees (Veterans’ Affairs and Ethics), that Parkinson’s disease has been complicating his mobility for more than two years. But the Georgian is planning to run for a third term anyway in 2016, when he’ll turn 71.
And on Friday, surgeons will remove the cancerous prostate gland of independent Angus King of Maine, who won election to the Senate three years ago at age 68, returning to politics fully a decade after the end of two terms as governor. He says doctors have been encouraging about his desire to run again in 2018.