July 1, 2013
Republican Heavy Hitters Say Hillary Rodham Clinton Is Too Old To Be President
Republicans are on the offense (or offensive?) against Hillary Rodham Clinton for 2016, going with a new message for voters: She’s too old to be in the Oval Office.
Stuart Stevens, the lead strategist for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential run, remarked at a recent event that she’s “been around since the 70s.” Sen. Mitch McConnell, aka the voice of the youth, made a Golden Girls comment with reference to Hillary Clinton (and VP Joe Biden). And Karl Rove is calling for “another step forward” because “we’re at the end of her generation.”
Hillary Clinton will be 69 in 2016. Ronald Reagan, a god to the Republican party, was 69 when he first won office. It’s also worth noting that Hillary Clinton has not declared a run for President. So these voices of the Republican party , once again putting their political wisdom on display, are running a tough campaign three years early against someone who may not even be their opponent. But also, they’re coming out of the gate with an attack on something that has little to do with the things people care about.
Age can certainly be a consideration when weighing presidential candidates. When a candidate is out of touch with current issues or fails to grasp the way the tide is turning in society, there’s reason to take advanced age into account. There’s also the question of health. Being President of the United States requires lots of travel, stress and long hours. President Obama, a politically youthful 51 years old, has the gray hair to show the toll that years in the White House can take.
None of this is an issue for Hillary Clinton. As Secretary of State, she logged thousands of frequent flyer miles and, in her own words, is “not only healthy but [has] incredible stamina and energy.” She’s accomplished, intelligent, clever, and, as her new Twitter bio shows, she has a sense of humor, which will surely go a long way against an opposition who has already made it clear that taking cheap shots at a woman’s appearance is a justifiable strategy for a political campaign. Moreover, she’s popular. There’s still a huge portion of the population that wants to see a woman President, and Hillary Clinton is qualified in their eyes.
Recent proposals and controversies show that Republicans will have their work cut out for them convincing women to vote for their candidates. Rep. Nancy Pelosi cautions against using the age attack, saying the GOP “would go to that place at their own risk.”