Magazine September 21, 2020, Issue

The Question of Experience

James Buchanan and Abraham Lincoln (Buchanan: Time Life Pictures/Contributor/Getty Images. Lincoln: Popperfoto/Contributor/Getty Images)
On presidential candidates and what they’ve done

The Democratic nominee for president, Joe Biden, was first elected to the Senate in 1972, when he was 29. (He turned 30 before his swearing-in, thus making him constitutionally eligible.) The other day, John F. Harris, of Politico, was having a little fun with time: When Biden was first in the Senate, he had six colleagues who had been born in the 19th century. If Biden is elected president, he will probably have aides who will see the 22nd century.

An impressive span.

Biden is 77, his opponent, President Trump, 74. The latter had never made a serious run for office until

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