Should Washington’s elderly leaders hand over power to a younger generation? Americans weigh in
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Americans in the nation’s capital shared their thoughts on whether elderly political leaders should make room for younger figures to take power.
“We need some fresh blood in there that understands how the people are living now in the United States,” one woman, Shanna, told Fox News. “The people who are ruling this country have no clue how I live – as a single mother – pay check to pay check.”
Joe Biden became the oldest president ever elected to office when he won in 2016. He would be 82 at the start of his second term if his 2024 bid succeeds. Former President Trump, who was 70 when he was inaugurated, previously held the title of oldest chief executive.
“Currently, the person in the position has a lot of background in politics, and so he does have some ideas of how to work things,” one woman, Olivia, told Fox News. “At the same time, you kinda wanna have somebody new in there during the next term just because of age being a factor.”
“You want them to be able to do their job and not have any issues with memory,” she continued.
The average age of the Senate was around 64 at the beginning of this session, according to the Congressional Research Service. The Census Bureau, meanwhile, estimated that the median age of the U.S. was just over 38 in 2020.
Congressional leaders within the legislative branch are even older: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is 82; Senate Majority Leader Chuck Sumer is 71; and Senate Republican Minority Mitch McConnell is 80. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy by comparison is a youthful 57.
“We need some fresh ideas, we need term limits, we need people who really live an American lifestyle,” one woman, Vicky, said.
“They don’t understand how real Americans live,” she continued. “They’ve never done it, so they can’t even relate to their own constituents.”
Some, however, told Fox News there were benefits to having older American leaders.
“Age gives most people wisdom. And with wisdom, of course, experience,” another woman, Estela, told Fox News.