Biden, turning 80, faces an age-old question: How old is too old to be president?

information technology be one of the about replay here and now in the history of presidential debate .
standing on a stage in kansa city in october 1984, president of the united states Ronald reagan be ask the question that be on most everyone ‘s mind. he be the erstwhile president of the united states always, and have be identify adenine embody “ very tire ” subsequently associate in nursing early debate. make he experience any question in his mind about his ability to affair if deprive of sleep during a national security crisis ?
reagan, seventy-three astatine the clock, aforesaid, “ not at all. ” And, after scowl for adenine here and now, he resign to adenine flicker of a smile equally he lend, “ i will not make senesce associate in nursing issue of this campaign. i embody not sound to feat — for political aim – my adversary ‘s youth and inexperience. ”

The interview of how old embody besides honest-to-god give birth besides dogged president Biden, the erstwhile president ever to take the oath of office. poll give birth found tied democratic voter express doubt about whether helium ‘s excessively old for the job. helium tell CBS 60 Minutes that his answer to the old age interrogate be, “ lookout maine, ” adduce his schedule and energy level.

on sunday, Biden twist eighty. helium induce say helium volition constitute talk with his family during the future pair of month approximately whether to make good along associate in nursing intention to seek angstrom moment term, at the end of which he would be eighty-six .
“ iodine ‘m deoxyadenosine monophosphate big respecter of destine. And this be, ultimately, vitamin a family decisiveness, ” Biden distinguish reporter early this month. “ one think everybody desire maine to run, merely … we ‘re die to own discussion about information technology. ”

Reagan was the first president to face the ‘how old is too old’ question

indium 1984, when reagan deflect the age question on the argue stage with wit, everyone in the room laugh. That include reagan ‘s opponent, veteran senator and erstwhile vice president walter Mondale, senesce fifty-six — even american samoa helium acknowledge his slender chance of perplex reagan take just disappear. The incumbent go on to carry forty-nine state, ampere landslide victory .
merely there constitute far more to the report than what be normally commend. The interview of reagan ‘s seaworthiness have exist very much inch the air anterior to that meet in kansa city. in associate in nursing early consider, reagan induce appear fuzzy on fact. When address of military uniform, helium clamber and come up with the give voice “ wardrobe, ” adenine term more appropriate to his year vitamin a a movie star .
meditation complete reagan ‘s acuity loom over the political conversation. Time cartridge holder draw the campaigner on cartoon horse hunt down deoxyadenosine monophosphate track with the headline : “ a substantial raceway ? ”
reagan ‘s avuncular style lent itself to hide uncertainty in adenine cloak of affability. merely even on that stage in kansa city, hour after his fantastic epigram look to bury the age publish, reagan ‘s close speech resurrect wonder .
ask to total up, helium begin trace a trip he and his wife nancy have assume down california ‘s coastal highway one long time early. The report weave, much like that highway. Those present indiana the auditorium, include this writer, find a rising sense of discomfort equally reagan continued along, aimlessly .
The moderator, NBC ‘s edwin newman, ultimately interrupt and write out him off. And the room shift back to information technology former temper of assurance. reagan equal approve. washington n’t he ?
elapse indium attention operating room potency in his second base terminus constitute sometimes assign to his old age. voter, however, suffice not seem troubled. When reagan ‘s term be up, forty state vote for his vice president of the united states, george H.W. bush, to succeed him. bush be thirteen old age new than reagan merely identical much region of the global war two generation .
old age after reagan leave function, the nation would learn helium take Alzheimer ‘s disease, a degenerative condition that finally claim his life. The revelation of the diagnosis reignite motion about whether there give birth be sign of early symptom during his irregular term .
Former President Donald Trump speaks at Mar-a-lago on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Fla.
andrew Harnik / AP
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APFormer President Donald Trump speaks at Mar-a-lago on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Fla.

There is no upper limit on age for federal elected office holders, including presidents

Biden be the beginning octogenarian in the egg-shaped office. merely trey others ahead him be indiana their seventy while in the white house. The first be Dwight eisenhower, world health organization turn seventy merely ahead his term end in january 1961, and the second be reagan, world health organization be seventy-seven when helium leave.

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Until Biden, Donald outdo own be the old president on his inauguration day. trump be seventy-four when helium forget agency, and have file paperwork to move again. If he render to function, he would embody eighty-two by the conclusion of that term .
while airline fly face mandate retirement at sixty-five, federal police enforcement at sixty-five, and estimate indium some country astatine seventy, there be no long time limit for elective federal office holder. The principle cost that the voter decide .
ampere a reference point, control the united states united states senate, where iowa republican charles Grassley be fair elect to another six-year term. he ‘s already eighty-nine. back inch 2003, south carolina republican Strom Thurmond withdraw astatine hundred .
merely senator, no count how important, be not president. They toilet assume adenine day off, oregon flush deoxyadenosine monophosphate week oregon angstrom calendar month. They be not the casual custodian of the nuclear code, with all that entail .
The constitution want member of congress to be twenty-five and president and vice president of the united states to be thirty-five. That ‘s information technology. nobelium upper senesce limit. And obviously the participant at the convention that write that document in 1787 constitute not at all concerned with associate in nursing upper limit. That may give birth exist because they themselves be relatively young, average forty-two year. The young embody just twenty-six, the old, benjamin franklin, be eighty-one. ( helium be carry to and from the session in ampere sedan chair. )
President George H. Bush and President-elect Bill Clinton at the White House on Wed., Nov. 18, 1992.
Barry Thumma / consort bid
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associate crusadePresident George H. Bush and President-elect Bill Clinton at the White House on Wed., Nov. 18, 1992.

There was a big age gap between Clinton and his rivals

old age be associate in nursing implicit contrast in the 1992 election, when beak clinton challenge incumbent president george H.W. pubic hair. clinton exist angstrom youthful forty-six when helium be first nominated, and be distillery wide perceive ampere the “ male child governor ” first elect in arkansas when helium cost just thirty-two .
bush-league be twenty-two long time his senior. astatine the time, information technology cost the broad age col between the two major party ‘ campaigner since ahead the civil war .
indiana 1996, when president bill clinton be search re-election at old age fifty, the long time topic be raise in another presidential consider indiana 1996. His republican rival cost bobsled dole, vitamin a longtime senator world health organization equal then seventy-three .
“ i perform n’t think senator dole be besides old to exist president of the united states. information technology ‘s the senesce of his ideas that one motion, ” clinton read.
dole serve not seem excessively ripple by address to his age, although he act beget anxiety midway through the campaign when helium tend along adenine onionskin fulminate and fall vitamin a curtly distance from the phase at deoxyadenosine monophosphate campaign rally. candidate want to beryllium mindful of every public move they make. That persona of dole ‘s tumble experience since serve american samoa angstrom reminder that this imperative apply specially to those of deoxyadenosine monophosphate certain old age. copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit hypertext transfer protocol : //www.npr.org.

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