Could make this race one for the ages
Back in 1996, Team Clinton, then on behalf of Bill, was raising the issue of the age of a presidential candidate – the GOP’s Bob Dole – who was then 73.
According to MSNBC, “top Bill Clinton White House aides called a Dole speech ‘tired, old, worn-out,’ and another said Dole’s rhetoric was ‘disconnected and dysfunctional.’”
But nearly 20 years later, after Hillary Clinton was defeated in the 2008 presidential campaign by inexperienced upstart Barack Obama, the age issue is returning to haunt Clinton, with headlines bluntly asking, “Is Hillary Clinton too old to be president?”
A plurality of Americans – even one in three Democrats – agrees that her age is a concern. She would be 70 during her first year in office.
That’s from a new poll by Zogby Analytics commissioned by the O’Leary Report and WND. It found that more than 46 percent of likely voters agree with the statement: “If Hillary Clinton is elected president, she will be 70 years old within her first year of office. Do you agree or disagree the Democrats should consider a younger candidate for president?”
Ronald Reagan, a Republican, was the oldest American president in office. But in his run for re-election, he humorously put challenger Democrat Walter Mondale on the defensive when he said during a debate: “I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”
MSNBC noted Hillary Clinton, if elected, would be younger than Reagan, Dole and Sen. John McCain, 72, at the point they would have been inaugurated.
The network said young people don’t perceive Clinton as particularly old, but the new poll found otherwise.
Among those ages 18-29, nearly half – 49.1 percent – said the Democrats needed to look at Hillary Clinton’s age as a factor. The figure was 46.8 percent for those ages 30-49 and 42.5 percent for those ages 50-64. For those over 65, it was 49.8 percent.
The poll was conducted through online interviews between Jan. 16-18 of 890 likely voters in the U.S. Based on a confidence interval of 95 percent, the margin of error is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.
Overall, 46.5 percent of the respondents said the Democrats need to look at someone younger. Only 33.4 percent said that was unneeded, and a significant one in five said they were not sure.
The Washington Post also raised the question, “Will Hillary Clinton’s health and age be an issue in 2016?”
“If Clinton decides to run in 2016, her age and health are certain to be talked about, given that she would be vying to become the second-oldest person in history to be elected. She would be 69, only a little younger than Ronald Reagan when he won his first term in 1980.”
Clinton was hospitalized for several days in 2012 after becoming severely dehydrated with an intestinal infection and fainting, suffering a concussion and a subsequent blood clot.
She had to reschedule testimony before Congress. And when she emerged, the Washington Post said, she was wearing glasses with a Fresnel prism “that help treat double vision.”
Written by BOB UNRUH
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