Community April 25, 2018

2020 Presidential Election

Old White Men Need Not Apply

Many say a picture is worth a thousand words. The Chinese proverb that preceded the use of the expression in the US says a picture worth twice as many words. I’m surprised the American’s didn’t up the ante.

Here we have a dramatic and haunting painting by Robert Lenkiewicz worth 10,000 words. His paintings are informed by his study of the sociology of vagrancy, mental illness, old age, suicide and death. He seeks to illuminate the lives of those he called “the invisible people.”

We at have been mesmerized by it since we started looking for a visual support of this post. It says what we feel about the field of candidates making the early preference polls. With 20/20 vision, we should get this one more right, if we start off right.

It turns out that many of our Founding Fathers were Founding Teenagers with a good representation of Twentysomethings. The average age for signing the Declaration of Independence was 44. Benjamin Franklin was the oldest clocking in at 81, the youngest was 26, Johnathan Dalter, 26 from New Jersey.

There is no upper-limit age to run for president: there should be.

We recommend 70 to be determined by the age a president-elect would be on January 20 of the year they would be sworn in as president. Reagan was 69. Hillary Clinton would have qualified. No so Trump. The medium age for president is just over 55. Teddy Roosevelt was the youngest president, assuming the office after the assassination of McKinley. John F. Kennedy was the youngest elected president at 43.

We proposed Five Rules for all candidates running for president running in 2024 to get an amendment amended.

Rule 1

Don’t Round Up the Usual Suspects

(Hillary Clinton twice, John McCain, Mitt Romney, John Kerry, Walter Mondale, Bob Dole.)

Rule 2

Eliminate Those Who Feel Entitled

(The bane of major political parties: Hillary Clinton twice for Democrats, John McCain for Republicans, and Bernie Sanders for the Socialists.)

Rule 3

Old White Men Need Not Apply

(See scratch sheet below.)

Rule 4

There is Precedent for Not-Seeking a Second Term

(LBJ comes to mind.)

Rule 5

No political party imposters (Bernie), party flip-floppers (Trump)

Rule 3 concerns us the most.

Those in this group have name recognition, “experience,” hangers-on staff, peanut galleries, peanut shells on the floor, and they are about the same age as voters who should have a memory for the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Scratch Sheet:

Old White Men (and Women) Who Should Not Run in 2020 at today’s age.

Joe Biden 75

Bernie Sanders 76

Jerry Brown 80

Michael Bloomberg (76)

Hillary Clinton 70

Elizabeth Warren 69

Al Gore (70)

Donald Trump 71

Mike Pence 65 (on the cusp)

John Kasich 65 (on the cusp)

Age may not be as important as other factors, such as experience. However, age informs experience. The word experience has been watered down and enabled Barack Obama with less experience to beat an older candidate with more experience, twice (McCain and Hillary Clinton). However, a younger candidate with about equal experience was able to beat a candidate with more experience (Bill Clinton over George H. W. Bush). Donald Trump had no prior elected position for any public office but the case was made that experiences in the private sector/reality show business was transferrable to government problem-fixing.

Bernie Sanders is not only an old white man, but an imposter. A Socialist who refuses to switch to the Democratic Party, but has no qualms about running as one “just to be president.” A carpetbagger from a border state that is no more representative of the United States than vanilla ice-cream is at Baskin Robbins. Vermont is one of the least diverse and smallest states in the Union that offers good health and good education, but the ranks 39th out of 50 in its ability to pay its debts. (Given the 1.5 trillion dollar debt the US government is proposing, this might not be an issue.)

Oh, and Vermont has over 100 19th Century covered bridges—postcard stuff, not infrastructure priority.

Do we have an “amen” or should there be no upper-limits to running for president?

What are your thoughts? Who is on your scratch sheet?


  • April 26, 2018

    Great piece, I will genuflect, but no Amen. Even if those on the scratch list were carded and still under age (70), I would still scratch them, except Warren is in my maybe pile. I am interested in who to add to the long list. Joe Kennedy III? Still part of a dynasty. But, he is on my long list. The list below does not excite me yet. Oprah? No! Only 25% mentioned below are women. Why? What are the qualities that make a great President in this day and age? And how do we educate the American voter when the current President makes it hard for everyone to graduate from Twittersphere U and Fox Central High?

    • April 26, 2018

      Katie, thanks for sharing the Post list. Cuomo, on Post list, is not liked by many, even though he has been a successful governor. At this stage there are two big strategies the Democrats need to face. 1. Should any blacks run this cycle? Here Holder is a non-starter for me, but Duval, former governor of Massachusetts is appropriately on the list. He was Obama’s mentor and many of O’s best lines came from Patrick. 2. Will women do well in the primaries? The question here is the issue of “it’s a woman’s turn” is not a good rationale. If Trump doesn’t run, which I think is very likely, then Nikki Haley has a big shot at the Republican nomination and she could be the candidate to beat. All the women in the Donkey (Jack Ass) Party have no foreign policy experience and that will be a big deal given the current state of affairs. Winning by running from Congress is not a proven strategy. Kamala Harris, Senator from CA is on the Post list, but her only serious experience was Attorney General for CA. And this is interesting, plus politically incorrect–she is attractive. This is one thing Obama started. But she covets the opportunity for a black woman to grill a white man from the South when her committee has a chance. So transparent in a bad way.

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