Why Shouldn’t We Make an Issue of Hillary Clinton’s Age?

121128_hillary_clinton_ap_328Back when Bob Dole and John McCain ran for president–heck, back when Ronald Reagan ran for president–we were told that tremendous demands are made on those who occupy the Oval Office and that the president had to be young and vigorous enough to meet those demands. If candidates for the presidency were older people, issues were made of their age. Whether subtly or openly, Dole, McCain and Reagan were all accused of being too old to run for president, and lots of times, the accusations were not subtle.

I think that turnabout is fair play, so I have a hard time getting upset now that there are people claiming that Hillary Clinton is too old to be president. If the age issue was a legitimate one in the case of Dole, McCain and Reagan, then it is a legitimate one here. There are entirely valid reasons to wonder whether Clinton has the stamina and energy to be an effective president. No, I don’t think that Hillary Clinton is secretly sick or infirm–I have no reason to think that. But if elected, she will be 69 years old once she takes office. What if age catches up to her while she is president? What if she does become sick or infirm? What if she is mentally incapable of keeping up with the demands of the office? These are all serious considerations for the electorate, and they shouldn’t be laughed off.

Don’t like this line of argument? Okay; I presume then that you didn’t like it when it was applied to Dole, McCain and Reagan. If you did like it back then, however, you are probably a partisan and a hypocrite, and there is no reason on earth why you should be taken seriously.

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