I'm just curious, because he's toward the older end of the normal age range for a first cardiovascular episode. Plus, frankly, if politicians can hide a stroke (I still think Bush had one in 2004) they do.
We tend to frame presidents very poorly in hindsight.
Nixon was a very important president on the larger historic scale. Aligning the US with China laid the groundwork for the destruction of the Soviet Union by isolating the Soviet Union as just another incarnation of imperial Russia.
He was also the last Republican who wasn't batshit crazy against social programs. On the other hand, he was batshit crazy.
Lincoln was an awful president. Count against him every soldier who had to die because Lincoln played musical chairs with the officer corps for four years. And not only did he piss around freeing the blacks, but somehow Lyndon Johnson ended up having to do it again 100 years later.
FDR is hard to gauge in seriousness because the crisis he faced required one and only one response. To the extent he exercised will to move the government into the economy, will that Hoover lacked, FDR deserves credit.
Sorry... I'm not a big fan of historical symbols because few if any of them compared in their lifetimes to what we make them into.
Look no further than Reagan. Reagan largely reaped the rewards of Nixon's repositioning of America in the Great Game. Yet, who gets the credit?
In truth, conservative economic policies dominant globally during the 1980s almost triggered a second Great Depression. Yet, somehow, Reagan is remembered as a great because a group of Republicans built him up as a partisan symbol they had lacked since they abandoned Lincoln to the wolves.
We should tread carefully before applying these symbols to current candidates because our mileage may vary from the factory tested mileage we think these comparison are.
With Dean as the DNC chair the unofficial policy has become "shut up about guns".
The truth, the gun issue has always been a distraction from addressing the core cause of violence -- the social destruction caused by a society that seems to encourage poverty as necessary to a capitalist system.
The gun just happens to be the weapon of choice for that social destruction.
More on your point, sure, let's run Jim Webb. Why not?
The opposed the war vociferously long before it was even fought. In 2008, that's going to carry a lot of credibility.
And if Obama can be considered a serious candidate without fulfilling his Senate, why not Webb?