One thing Americans agree on? Our politicians are too old.
The speaker of the House is 82 years old.
The Senate majority leader is 71 years old.
While the American public doesn’t agree on much, they do agree on this: Our politicians are simply too old.
What should the age cutoff be to serve in office? The most common answer among the choices presented in the CBS poll was 70 years old, with 4 in 10 Americans picking that option. One in 4 (26%) said 60 should be the oldest someone can be to hold elected office, while 18% said 80 should be the limit.
This is not, of course, some pie-in-the-sky discussion.
President Joe Biden, as I noted above, is 79 years old. He will turn 82 shortly after the 2024 election. He is already the oldest person ever elected to a first term as president.
A slew of polling conducted over the summer showed that large swaths of the country also raised doubts about Biden running for another term, with some survey respondents citing his age.
“Mr. Biden looks older than just a few years ago, a political liability that cannot be solved by traditional White House stratagems like staff shake-ups or new communications plans. His energy level, while impressive for a man of his age, is not what it was, and some aides quietly watch out for him. He often shuffles when he walks, and aides worry he will trip on a wire. He stumbles over words during public events, and they hold their breath to see if he makes it to the end without a gaffe.”
“Four U.S. senators, including three Democrats, as well as three former Feinstein staffers and the California Democratic member of Congress told The Chronicle in recent interviews that her memory is rapidly deteriorating. They said it appears she can no longer fulfill her job duties without her staff doing much of the work required to represent the nearly 40 million people of California.”
Feinstein’s current term ends in 2025.
The age issue — whether at the presidential, Senate or House level — is a touchy one to report on or even to talk about. Age is undefeated, and everyone knows that at some point it could be them who is being quietly ushered off the public stage.
At the same time, as these CBS poll numbers make clear, the public is fed up with so many old politicians — and is more than ready for a change.