Democratic Leadership - A Gerontocracy

Hank  Adler
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Posted: Nov 13, 2014 12:01 AM
Democratic Leadership - A Gerontocracy

Every voter should be looking at the Democratic presidential candidates for 2016 and current Democratic Party leadership and consider any gathering of these individuals as a meeting of a golden age club.

Which Democratic presidential nominee is going to inspire young voters? When the next president is inaugurated, Hillary Clinton will be 69 years old, Elizabeth Warren will be 67 years old, Joe Biden will be 74 years old, James Webb will be 70 years old and Gerry Brown will be 78 years old. By the end of the first term of the next presidency, they will be 73, 71, 78, 74 and 82 years old respectively. Are we serious here? Is any of these candidates going to inspire young voters to go to the polls? Is there no Democratic Party candidate who will not be deep into a monthly Social Security payment before the 2016 election?

And Democratic Congressional leadership makes Clinton, Warren, Biden, Webb and Brown look like kids. Harry Reid will be 77 years old by the end of the year, Nancy Pelosi will be 76 years old. Even Senators Chuck Shumer and Dick Durbin will be 64 and 70 years old by December 31, 2104. And then there are the "girls"; Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer are already 76 and 83 years old. This is a gerontocracy.

Pick your poison here, but this author does not see a complete absence of dementia for each member of the current Democratic leadership team now and certainly this could be a visible problem by 2016 or 2020. At Democratic Congressional leadership meetings, it must be fun for 64 year old Senator Durbin to be referred to as the "young kid".

In comparison, the Republicans have Congressional leaders and presidential candidates that were born in the 50's, 60's and even 70's. Mitch McConnell and Mitt Romney are the only Republican leaders older than Hillary Clinton and most would pick Romney to win the fifty yard dash by a wide margin among the three. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan were all born in the 1970's while Clinton, Warren and Biden were born in the 1940's. (Feinstein, Brown and Reid were born in the 1930's.)

This age gap is the reverse of perception. Everything is the reverse of perception. Republicans need to seize this moment. Carpe diem!

Republicans are younger and their leadership is younger. And Republican leadership and presidential candidates are more diverse in age, gender and race. Elected young Republicans feature Tim Scott, Mia Love, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Joni Ernst, Shelly Moore Capito and Bobby Jindal. Democrats can barely compete in a discussion of age, gender and race.

The gender and racial gap is the reverse of perception. Everything is the reverse of perception. Republicans need to seize this moment. Carpe diem!

Let's be clear here, if there is an age, gender or diversity gap, this should be a problem for the Democrats, not Republicans.