The New York Times reports that the Republican strategy for 2016, should Hillary Clinton run, seems to be heading towards playing the age card. She will be 69 in 2014, and therefore, according to them, too old to be President. Never mind that in 2008, John McCain would have been the oldest person to attain the presidency at 72 years old, had he won. It’s been quite clear for some years now, that even though the GOP’s mascot is an elephant, it has problems remembering things, especially when they’re inconvenient truths.
There’s a big problem with this strategy, beyond the fact that it’s plain and simple ageism. Republicans are planning to run young candidates like Marco Rubio (42), Bobby Jindal (42), Chris Christie (50), Rand Paul (50) to show that their party has young blood to represent its ideas. However, no amount of young blood can replace the bad blood that they have spread around with their extremism in recent years. No amount of young blood can mask the fact that their ideas are outdated, proven wrong, and only relevant to a shrinking portion of the electorate.
In contrast, the Democratic Party might run older candidates in 2016, but they will come with ideas that are inclusive, that try to spread the wealth, and that reflect our country today. The GOP has done immeasurable harm to our country since George W. Bush’s stolen election in 2000, and even more since Barack Obama rose to the presidency in 2008. They have obstructed, lied and manipulated resulting in a huge divisiveness that poisons our political system and their ability to compromise.
So, while for the sake of our country, I’m hoping that Republicans don’t go there, I won’t be surprised if they do. Bobby Jindal said last month, “The reality is, when you look at the Democrats, they’ve got old, tired ideas being produced by old, tired candidates.”
If they use this ageist strategy against Hillary Clinton, I predict that they will see the wrath of women rain down on them to such an extent that it might not be possible for them to regain the presidency until 2024. Maybe by then, the GOP will have learned the lessons that they so badly need to learn and that we Democrats are so eager to teach them.