How old is too old to be president?


Getting older is quite a fascinating thing.

Things change, and we just can’t stop it from happening. Hair gets thinner and gray. Once in-shape bodies tend to get a little on the soft side. Things that used to take little effort now not only take much more effort, but also a little planning.

Even getting out of bed in the morning can be an adventure. And remembering things? Forget it.

Now, I don’t feel like an “old” person at all. I still have plenty of energy, have a very active social life and a great circle of vibrant friends.

But as we age, we certainly slow down some. That gets more pronounced the older we get.

There are some places that it is comforting to see an older face, like at the doctor’s office. Or teaching in a college classroom.

But when I see some of the people running for president, I am a little concerned. Please, don’t think I have anything against experience. It certainly counts. But being president is a very, very tough job that requires energy, stamina and intense focus. Well, it does if you want to do the job right.

I guess I got used to having younger people in office when we elected Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barrack Obama. Politics aside, they were all energetic men. They attacked each day with youthful enthusiasm. Obviously, they experienced both failures and successes, but they did not simply sit back and let history wash over them.

That’s why I worry about the current crop running for office. How old is too old? Not to be ageist here, but from our current president to the Democratic front runners, all are well over retirement age.

President Trump will be 74 in 2020. By most reports, he is not exactly burning the midnight oil in the Oval Office. A little work here, a little golf there, a rally whenever he can – it’s a pretty nice schedule.

Hey, he’s the president and can do what he wants, right?

But Trump is a spring chicken compared to Bernie Sanders, who recently announced another shot at the top office. Sanders will be 79 in 2020. I appreciate his enthusiasm, but I am not sure a person knocking on the door of 80 should be the president.

The reality is things slow down as we age. Our reaction time is slower. We can get more easily confused. There is no shame in that, we are just simply getting older.

That’s fine if you are playing with the grandkids, but not if you are the leader of the free world.

Joe Biden, the former vice president and possible 2020 contender, would be 78 in 2020. Elizabeth Warren, a real long-shot, to be sure, would be 71 in 2020.

In 2020, about 17 percent of the population of this country will be 65 or older. The median age of the county will be between roughly 36 and 37 years old.

We are still a young country, and I believe we need younger leadership. Look at some of those folks serving in Congress for decades and decades. It’s time to get some new, fresh ideas into office.

Of course, I do say let the best man or woman win, regardless of age. But I do believe we need a president who wants to represent all people and does so with enthusiasm and unstoppable stamina.

Advertisement