Obama’s media spotlight hides the advancing age of the broader Democratic party elite. The two people most often floated as 2016 presidential nominees – Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden – are 65 and 70 years old today. If elected, they will be 69 and 74 at the start of their terms, and 73 or 78 at the end. Bill Clinton himself, still very influential, is older than Hillary at 67.
The Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, is now almost 74, and his term doesn’t expire until 2017. Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader in the House, is also 73. The traditionally most powerful Cabinet positions – Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State – are occupied by John Kerry (now 69) and Chuck Hagel (age 66).
Hagel is actually younger than his predecessor, Leon Panetta, age 74 at time of retirement earlier this year. Panetta was born before Les Aspin, who served as Secretary of Defense during Clinton’s first term (now over twenty years ago), and is three years older than Dick Cheney, who had his position under George H.W. Bush twenty-five years ago. Indeed, he is over a decade older than the Defense Department itself, which was founded under President Truman. Similarly, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (age 72) is older than every single one of the sixteen agencies he supervises, with the exception of the venerable Office of Naval Intelligence (created in the 1880s). Clapper is actually older than the Office of Strategic Services, America’s intelligence agency under President Roosevelt, and the predecessor of the predecessor of today’s intelligence community.
Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies is a terrible way to end an RPG campaign, and Heart Attacks, Everyone Dies is a terrible way to end a political party.