The Corner


The Questions about These Candidates Aren’t Getting Any Younger, Either

Former President Jimmy Carter at a Carter Center event in 2015 (John Amis/Reuters)

A lot of Americans will probably find themselves nodding in agreement to former president Jimmy Carter, when he contends that at some point, you’re just too old to handle the job of the presidency.

“I hope there’s an age limit,” Carter said with a laugh Tuesday. “If I were just 80 years old, if I was 15 years younger, I don’t believe I could undertake the duties I experienced when I was president.” Carter is approaching his 95th birthday.

The odds are good that the winner of the 2020 presidential election will be a septuagenarian. President Trump is 73 years old. Former vice president and current Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden is 76 years old. Senator Bernie Sanders, another one of the top contenders for the Democratic nomination, is 77 years old. One of the other top contenders for the Democrats, Senator Elizabeth Warren, just turned 70 in June.

Put another way, if elected and serving a full term, either Sanders or Biden would be running for reelection as an octogenarian.

Back in 1985, comedian Dennis Miller joked Ronald Reagan was far too old: “A belated happy birthday to the president, who turns sevent- seventy-five? Seventy-five, is that right? Seventy-five, and he has access to the button? You know, my grandfather’s seventy-five, we won’t let him use the remote control for the TV set! This guy woulda been kicked out of Menudo sixty years ago!”

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