Octogenarians

The Octogenarians And The Presidential Nomination Battle In 2020—Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Jerry Brown, Michael Bloomberg

Soon, once the midterm elections of 2018 are over, no matter what happens, we will start to see the beginnings of the Presidential Election of 2020 campaign.

And in the Democratic Party, we have, in theory at least, FOUR soon to be Octogenarians who MIGHT decide to run for the nomination of their party.

All four would be in their 80s during the next term.

First, we have former Vice President Joe Biden, who would be 78 days after the 2020 election.

Then, we have Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who would be 79 at the time of the 2020 election.

We also have soon to be former Governor Jerry Brown of California, who would be seven months past 80 at the time of the 2020 election.

Finally, we have former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who would be three months short of 79 when the 2020 election occurs.

So all four would be in their 80s during their first term of office.

All but Bloomberg have actually been Presidential candidates, with Bloomberg flirting with it, but never taking the step.

Biden ran in 1988 and 2008, while Sanders ran in 2016, and Brown in 1976, 1980, and 1992.

The least likely to announce is Brown, but knowing his past history, who can say he would not announce?

Bloomberg seems second least likely to run, but is spending $80 million to help Democrats win the midterm elections in Congress and the states.

Both Biden and Sanders seem certainly to announce, in a field that could include more than 10 potential candidates.

If one had to project whether any of these four men might actually be the Democratic nominee, it would be Joe Biden, who is the most centrist of the four.

With both Sanders and Bloomberg being “independent”, outside the party membership, and both very unwilling to compromise or negotiate with party leaders, and with the Democrats insisting that only party members run for the White House, there would be massive conflict with either trying to take the Democratic nomination for the Presidency.

Truthfully, the best scenario would be a “NEW GENERATION”, someone in their 40s, 50s, or low to mid 60s, becoming the future of the party, rather than an “old timer”, who we would need to worry about more than normally, as to who their Vice President was, since the odds of an octogenarian serving a full term in the Presidency, would be quite a gamble!

Octogenarians In Congress: Time For Age Limit Of 80, So That Younger Generation, “Fresh Blood”, Comes Into Both Houses

Age discrimination laws have disappeared in recent decades, but at the same time, there is the issue of members of Congress staying on into their 80s in growing numbers, and one has to wonder if that is good for the nation at large, or whether it helps to promote the image of Congress being out of sync with the nation, and preventing a younger generation of “fresh blood” from having opportunity to serve in Congress.

Presently, there are eight Senators and eleven House members who are in their 80s, and there are others in both chambers nearing 80 over the next few years.

Seven Republicans and one Democrat in the Senate, and eight Democrats and three Republicans in the House of Representatives are now in their 80s, and there is no indication that the House members are planning to retire in 2018.

Four of the House members are in the upper 80s right now—Democrats Sander Levin of Michigan who is 86; Democrat John Conyers of Michigan who is 88; Democrat Louise Slaughter who is 88; and Republican Sam Johnson of Texas who is 87.

Meanwhile, three of the eight Senators were just reelected to terms ending in 2022—Richard Shelby of Alabama who will be 88 then; John McCain of Arizona who will be 86 then; and Chuck Grassley of Iowa who will be 89 then.

Three others have terms ending in 2020—Pat Roberts of Kansas who will be 84 then; Thad Cochran of Mississippi who will be 83 then; and James Inhofe of Oklahoma who will be 86 then.

The other two Senators face election in 2018–Diane Feinstein of California who will be 85; and Orrin Hatch of Utah who will be 84.

The aging of Congress has been a growing trend, and it does not bode well for the future, as far as public support for Congress is concerned.

There is no realistic possibility of legislated age limits, but the growing number of octogenarians in Congress is not a good development.

Age Limits In Congress Arise As Issue As John McCain Plans For Another Term In Senate In His 80s!

As Senator John McCain of Arizona announced that he will seek another six year term in the US Senate, which would bring him into his mid 80s in that chamber, the question arises of some type of age limits that needs, desperately, somehow, to be applied in the future.

The number of octogenarians who have served in the Senate is, by research, somewhere in the mid 30s, out of a total number of Senators since 1789 numbering, at this point, 1,973 in total!

So one might say that having about 1.6 percent of all US Senators lifetime in their 80s or 90s is not a big deal, but it actually is, as level of health and well being, while fine for some, realistically, is not overall good statistically for people in their 80s, with dementia a particular problem and early death a statistical likelihood. Really, when one has reached the ninth or tenth decade of life, no matter how good in performance one has been, and no matter how much one feels he or she can do and contribute, it is, simply, time to allow someone new and younger to serve a Congressional district or state!

No one is indispensable, and that should include Supreme Court Justices as well, as the likelihood of excellence at such an advanced age is highly unlikely, but often, it is just stubbornness and ego that keeps these government leaders in their positions.

Harry Reid of Nevada and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Barbara Boxer of California realized this, and on the other hand, Diane Feinstein of California did not, Chuck Grassley of Iowa did not, Orrin Hatch of Utah did not, Richard Shelby of Alabama did not, James Inhofe did not,and now John McCain has not. Additionally, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee will reach 80 in the next few years, and yet, it is really time to go, gentlemen!

Do we really want Senators possibly reaching their 90s in office, as Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, Theodore Green of Rhode Island, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, and Carl Hayden of Arizona did, reaching the ages of 100, 93, 92, and 91 in office?

Enough is enough, and age 80 should be the limit with no exceptions, and therefore, one would not be permitted to run for office past age 74 at the time of the election, so that they leave during the year they reach age 80!

in other words, we need a “youth movement” in the United States Senate, as well as in the House of Representatives, so it is time for such luminaries as Michigan Congressman John Conyers and New York Congressman Charles Rangel to stay goodbye at the end of their present term of Congress!