Since this is political primaries time, I somehow got to wondering if our perception of age and “being old” has changed. In 1963, John F. Kennedy was 43 years old when he took office as President and I remember people saying he might not be old enough for the job nor have sufficient experience. Nearly a generation later in 1981, Ronald Reagan turned 70 two weeks after being sworn in as President and Time magazine named him Man of the Year (Time, 1-5-81), but people wondered if he was too old for the job. Even Reagan was sensitive to the concern. “‘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,’ Ronald Reagan quipped during the 1984 presidential debates when asked if, at 73, he is too old to be President”


Currently, Ron Paul is seeking the republican nomination to run for President. Paul is 76 years old. He is the same age as Reagan, who when into his second term as president was demonstrating minor symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. However, I do not recall anyone citing age as an issue with Paul’s potential as President. OK, revise that. I just took a look on-line and see quite a few blogs and articles discussing Paul’s age and fitness. However, I see nothing that is unequivocally negative about his capability.

Now there are a lot of categories in “too old.” As in “too old” to drive a car, date a younger person, get a job, keep a job, etc., but in general has the bar for “too old” been raised? I think so and so do others. A nice rave on the subject is by Daniel Gross in Newsweek (Eighty is the New Fifty, June 7, 2008,

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