Analysis: The Real Problem With Hillary's Age

Petr David Josek/AP

Republican spinning that Hillary Clinton is too old to be president is the sort of bad messaging strategy you see when people are not coordinating with a campaign or a candidate, mainly because neither exists on the GOP side at this moment. What message do comments on age reinforce about the Republicans or their future nominee, except to send a tone-deaf signal to older women that the party thinks they are irrelevant?

Let's not forget that The Golden Girls, mentioned by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell in his dig against Clinton, was a show about elderly female retirees in Florida, which is to say, a critical block of civic-minded voters in the tight-as-a-tick swing state. And if there's one thing such older women do not cotton to, it's any suggestion that they be put out to pasture instead of wooed by political figures. Be nice to grandmothers!

That said, Clinton's age may still be a relevant concern. But it's not because she's an older woman -- it's because she is an older politician. Democrats would need to worry about this even in the unlikely event she were to run and face someone her own age in 2016. As an older politician, Clinton has decades' worth of ties in the political consulting establishment. But she lacks a cadre of loyalists with fresh outside-the-Beltway experience and ideas who are eager to innovate the latest campaign techniques.

Read the rest at TheAtlantic.com. 

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