Aging Politicians Are Only Going To Get More Common (FiveThirtyEight)


    Aging Politicians Are Only Going To Get More Common – By Monica Potts (FiveThirtyEight) / Sept 7, 2023

    Presidents are getting older and older. Former President Donald Trump was the oldest person to assume office when he was sworn in on Jan. 20, 2017, and President Biden broke that record four years later. If either is elected again next year, at ages 78 and 81, respectively, they will be older than the previous record holder, Ronald Reagan, was when he left office at the age of 77.

    The possibility of an octogenarian on the presidential ticket is worrying many Americans — perhaps because it’s not just the presidency that’s aging. The current Congress, with a median age of 65 in the Senate and 58 in the House, is the oldest in history. Last week, when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 81, seemed to freeze while speaking for the second time in two months, there were renewed calls for him to step aside, and 90-year-old California Sen. Dianne Feinstein has been under similar scrutiny after a series of health issues. Former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, who is 51 and running for the Republican nomination, has called for competency tests for candidates older than 75, and her opponent Vivek Ramaswamy, a 38-year-old entrepreneur, has said it’s time for a new generation to step up and lead.

    Voters are worried about the age of candidates and elected officials, especially when it comes to Biden. The vast majority of American adults, 77 percent, say he is too old to be effective for another four years, according to an AP-NORC poll in August. Fifty-seven percent of registered voters thought age severely limited President Biden’s ability to do his job in an Economist/YouGov poll from August. Similar questions were asked about Feinstein and McConnell, about whom 60 percent said the same.



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