The Democratic party is a strange thing. For many years they’ve billed themselves as a party of new, exciting ideas. They’ve promoted a crop of idealistic young candidates for Congress, some of whom have been successful. But the candidates at the top of the Democratic ticket aren’t so young and fresh.
The frontrunners for the 2020 presidential nomination are all in their 70s, and even though they’re the top three in the polls, all of them put forth an image that doesn’t fit with the hip, youthful image that the Democrats have so carefully tried to cultivate.
Jim VandeHei at Axios puts it cleverly when he writes:
In this era of change, technology and disruption, Democrats seem content with three pre-Internet era throwbacks: Bernie Sanders, 78; Joe Biden, 76; and Elizabeth Warren, 70.
I was only seven during the 1980 campaign, but I was observant and politically aware to remember the concerns over Ronald Reagan’s age when he sought the GOP nomination. He was 69 when he took the Oath of Office for his first term.
I don’t know if it’s because Baby Boomers have aged into this bracket or if other factors are to blame, but we’re not hearing most of those concerns about these candidates’ ages like we did about Reagan 40 years ago.
However, there are unique ways in which Sanders, Warren, and Biden show their age. Ol’ Reliable Socialist Sanders cultivates a “get off my lawn” vibe, and his demeanor and manner of speaking gives the impression of a dotty old man that’s eccentric at best and creepy at worst.
Perhaps this stems from the fact that she’s been a professor for years, but Warren comes across as a condescending motherly (or grandmotherly) figure, telling you what she thinks you need to hear for your own good. She can also occasionally
And Biden…well, he’s notoriously gaffe prone, and I’ve seen genuine concerns about whether he’s fit to be president. Don’t forget about his problem of being too friendly with women, which looks worse as he ages.
Now, I know that a million things can happen between now and the Democratic Convention next summer, and any of these younger candidates can rise in the polls, but from the way things look right now, the Democrats don’t want to turn the country blue. Apparently, they want to turn the nation gray.