The recent spectacle of the Mueller testimony before Congress raises questions that merit consideration and concern. At age 74, Mr. Mueller is no longer a young man; and it should be recognized that some, e.g., Donald Trump, age better than others. It would be wrong to make a diagnosis of early-stage dementia in Mueller’s case but his performance under stress certainly suggests this to the trained observer. Mr. Mueller struggled to orient himself, showed considerable difficulty answering questions, could not recollect important personal information, and at times looked like a “deer caught in the headlights.” Most of us have seen previously agile minds begin to fail with age.

Mr. Mueller shares some responsibility for his embarrassing performance. He did not have to appear before Congress and the Attorney-General, perhaps recognizing the current limitations of his former colleague, offered Mr. Mueller an excuse not to testify. Mueller undoubtedly recognized that he was no longer capable of turning in a peak performance when he was offered and accepted the role of Special Counsel. The inability to accept one’s limitations invariably does not end well, and to exit the public stage on a sour note is unfortunate. But what can one say about friends and family who allowed him to proceed? On another note, Rod Rosenstein should be made to answer why Mr. Mueller was chosen for this critical task. One disturbing possibility is that he was picked primarily to serve as the official face of the report, so that its quasi-legal conclusions could be created by a team of politically partisan lawyers, who a nimble Robert Mueller might never have chosen to work on this project. As usual, the big loser is the American public.

But the issue should not be allowed to fade with Mr. Mueller, as their are currently four septuagenarians (Trump, Biden, Sanders, Warren) running for President in 2020. Considering the gravity of the position and America’s history of having been governed by aging and cognitively-impaired Commanders-in-Chief–Reagan, Roosevelt, Wilson all come to mind– it behooves the current candidates to provide the American public with a clean bill of cognitive health not just their tax returns.

Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom-Solomon

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