Published On: Wed, Sep 20th, 2023

Am I too old? Are you?

Nobody pushed to throw Ruth Bader Ginsburg off the Supreme Court at 87. Politics aside, her age and her health were never big issues.

But I’m not surprised there’s an uproar over whether President Joe Biden and probable candidate former president Donald Trump should run again in 2024, when they’re 82 and 78.

No other presidents assumed the office in their 70s. Ronald Reagan famously joked about his age when he was inaugurated at 69, a month shy of his 70th birthday.

To say ageism is alive and well in politics is obvious. I have mixed emotions about it, don’t you?

Nobody wanted to watch Mitch McConnell have two medical crises on TV, or Dianne Feinstein get wheeled into Congress at 90. My Mom was in a wheelchair for years and we took her everywhere. But she didn’t represent Republicans or the state of California.  

GOP candidate Nikki Haley called the senate a “nursing home.”  And at 76, Utah’s Sen. Mitt Romney said he won’t run again because he’ll be too old to finish his term if he wins. Really?

I’ll be 77 next month. When I complained about my age last year to everyone who would listen, I got laughed at. Now I understand why. The new 80 is really the new 60. The latest mantra is “active senior” and all the ads show older people on the move. My generation’s expected to stay productive and physically active as long as they want to. Nice to see that chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell’s still working for MSNBC. I knew her in Philly at the start of our careers. She’s the same age as me. 

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