What's the ideal age to be President?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by vrDrew, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #1
    In a (slightly) ironic twist, PBS last night broadcast Churchill's Secret, a fictionalized dramatization of the stroke suffered by Winston Churchill in 1952, during his second Premiership.

    Which got me thinking, What is the ideal age for a nation's top political leader?

    Our Constitution requires that a President be at least 35 upon taking office. This was put into law at a time when life expectancies where much lower, and political dynasties tended to elevate sons to high position. William Pitt the Younger famously became British PM at the age of 24.

    It seems unlikely that we will see too many serious candidates at such a young age.

    On the other end of the spectrum, it seems that 70 is probably close to the upper limit on a first time President. If re-elected that person would be close to 80 upon retirement.
     
  2. jkcerda macrumors 6502

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  3. DrewDaHilp1 macrumors 6502a

    DrewDaHilp1

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    If you have gray hair going into it, or a poorly combed hairpiece, it should be too late for you.
     
  4. vrDrew thread starter macrumors 65816

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    I don't think we'll see too many 35-year-olds running for President. Assuming a young person enters college at 18, and graduates at 22 or so; that really only gives them a decade of real-world experience and is probably too short a time to establish both the reputation and the skills necessary to run for President. You could be a world-class attorney, surgeon, military officer, or business executive at 35. But you aren't going to have the sort of name-recognition that's going to get either voters, or donors to join your team.

    Things are a little more interesting on the upper end of the scale. On the one hand, advances in medical technology are such that many people live highly energetic lives, physically and mentally, into the eighties. Simple things like air-conditioning and comfortable cars and airplanes enable an older person to endure travel routines that would have killed an earlier generation.

    But on the other hand, I think the demands on our Presidents are much greater than they were just a generation ago. Presidents face a demand to be constantly in the spotlight and "on the job." Even on "vacations" Presidents receive daily security briefings and expected to speak to reporters if some tragedy or other national event occurs.

    There is also the fact that campaigns have become much, much more grueling. What used to be a two-month blitz between Labor Day and November, is now an eighteen-month slog, starting months before the first ballots are cast in New Hampshire and Iowa. It requires assembling a team to raise several billion dollars. And it is a process, the last half of which is conducted under 24-hour armed guard; and 24-hour press attention.
     
  5. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #5
    Anybody old enough to remember this early 70s comic?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

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  7. impulse462 macrumors 68000

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    if you're being serious...lol

    people have wildly differing genetics that affects how fast their hair grays and how much they lose. how about their intellectual and mental capacity? and proof of their efficiency to work in government way too young and too old i agree with, but the hair metric is just a bad idea.

    also this idea doesn't apply to women. or asian or south america-hertiage people born in the US since they usually have better hair genetics than caucasians
     
  8. DrewDaHilp1 macrumors 6502a

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    I'm only being half serious, I was born with gray hair but that went away, now I am getting closer to salt and pepper than a solid color and I am still in my 30's. And yes the hair piece joke was about the Don since no doubt individuals will say I'm a supporter of his.
    The fact of the matter is that government and politicians should not be a life long career, new people and new ideas should be constantly rotating through. Tell me what a person that has been in politics for the past 30 years knows, understands, experienced the realities of the "average" American?
     
  9. Huntn macrumors G5

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  10. DrewDaHilp1 macrumors 6502a

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    In all honesty I was excited to see what a youthful President could do, even though I despise everything he stands for. He has brought social media and new media into the Office of the President and has done a remarkable job interacting with the younger generations.
     
  11. vrDrew thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Obama was an interesting case.

    I know that Obama himself had doubts about the wisdom of running for President before he'd finished his first term in the Senate. I think he recognized he probably didn't have enough experience at the national level, despite his legal experience and time in the Illinois Statehouse.

    But I think ultimately he recognized that his "window of opportunity" was finite. And that spending another four or eight years in the Senate would have ultimately made him part of the "Establishment" that it would have been hard to break out of.

    Marco Rubio (and to a lesser extend Ted Cruz) faced a similar problem. If they'd decided to sit out 2016, by 2020 or 2024, they'd simply be "part of the machine." Which is why you don't see Mitch McConnell or Chuck Schumer running for President. The problem for both Rubio and Cruz however, was that they turned out to be incapable of generating much enthusiasm among voters. That I see as something of a symptom of the hyper-partisan nature of modern day politics in general, and the strong lurch to the right in the Republican primary contest. Rubio or Cruz would have probably been excellent Democratic candidates, in an alternate reality.
     
  12. Savor Suspended

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    Not 70 or close to it, that's for sure.

    I say between the ages of 40-45. Being part of a club with Teddy (42) and JFK (43) isn't bad at all. Or Clinton at 46. Teddy is a consensus Top 5 and JFK is most popular Democrat POTUS of the last 50 years. Bill is probably the 2nd most popular president behind Reagan for the last 30 years but I do see Clinton get ranked higher than JFK at times, so the maybe even the greatest Democratic POTUS since FDR.

    JFK and Clinton still had a huge sexual appetite during those ages though. Bill probably slowed on with during the last decade after reaching 60. If you tolerate a man's libido in his 40's, he should have the energy to last a good eight years. It is in your 50's when your body really starts to breakdown but it also happens in your 40's especially with your vision. Depends on genetics and hereditary issues.

    I say no candidates over 60-65. Too old, Hillary and Donald. Bernie Sanders is even older. I remember how everyone was laughing how old Bob Dole was in 1996. If you want to go geriatric, might as well callback Ross Perot to run at age 86! Finish his term in his 90's.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. MadeTheSwitch macrumors 6502a

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    Ideal age? 45. Young enough to hopefully not have horrible health problems. Old enough to have some experience and a little maturity*.

    *Disclaimer: Obviously as Trump shows, age is no perfect indicator of maturity. :D
     
  14. impulse462 macrumors 68000

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    agree completely. it depends where and how they work. someone like bernie sanders is much more intune with an average american than someone like hillary clinton
     
  15. vrDrew thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jack Welch became Chairman of GE when he was 46 years old. Current military regulations require an officer spend at least 25 years in ascending junior ranks before becoming eligible for Flag rank. Meaning you cannot become a General or Admiral before you are ~ 46-48 years old. (And a One-Star is, relatively speaking, not that broad or senior a position.)

    If we look to business or the military as a recruiting ground for Presidents, then it would appear that its unlikely you'd find anyone less than ~55 years old who would combine both experience; a record of achievement; and name recognition sufficient to be a credible candidate.

    You have to be at least 30 to become a Senator. And assuming that person completed two full terms in the Senate, they'd be 42 on becoming President. Would it be possible for a person to be a good candidate for President? I'd say it was possible, but it would be a very tall order.
     
  16. mrkramer macrumors 603

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    I'd say mid 50's. If there was an alternative if be against Clinton or Trump solely on account of their age.
     
  17. vrDrew thread starter macrumors 65816

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    There is definitely some validity in that point of view. But the question becomes what is a good training ground for future Presidents?

    The history of "complete outsiders" holding high elected positions is mixed, at best. Jesse Ventura and Arnold Schwarzenegger were so-so Governors of California and Minnesota. But neither of them could have gone on to be President. And being a movie star and a professional wrestler is hardly a lifestyle the "typical" voter would recognize.

    An interesting person would be Mitt Romney. Romney had a very successful career in investment banking, so much so that he left business to enter politics as Governor of Massachusetts. A role he apparently performed very well. If he hadn't been running against Barack Obama in 2012 I'd have probably voted for him. But even so, Romney was 55 when he became Governor and was in his 60s when he ran for President.
     
  18. samcraig macrumors P6

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    And what if you're bald?
     
  19. LizKat macrumors 68040

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    Yes I think it's important for candidates or at least their aides to be tuned into tech. It's really appalling to me how many congresscritters feel free to vote this or that way on issues that affect US ability to innovate in tech but don't have a clue what any of it means, or how much it means to have equal access to tech (lookin' at reluctance to consider broadband a utility, and lookin' at shameful failure to deploy cellular access).

    To have kids required to use computers to do homework and still have parents in so many areas needing to run the kid to a library or back to school for that purpose because no net at home? Thats absurd when we have outfits like Google talking about taking the internet to "undeveloped" areas in Africa. Finish the job at home first for pete's sake.

    Lack of broadband for schoolwork in rural areas is also a CLEAR indicator that we are missing business opportunities in the boondocks of America just because of that lack of broadband. That and cell connection are what people look for when they house-hunt and look to site a company. Lack of those two things keeps nice homes on on the market for way too long and eventually depresses that market.

    It's not necessarily a joke, that old saw about "build it and they will come". Build the communications infrastructure and the appeal of a lot of rural areas for tech business and light industry doubles overnight.

    Right now a major bridge that was built between NK and China that's not finished (mostly with respect to infrastructure connections at the ends) is disappointing thousands of Chinese who opened businesses in preparation for increased trade. That holdup is political, and related to NK's stance on nukes vs China's commitments to sanctions.

    But meanwhile, why should we be acting the same way in terms of unfinished communications bridges between rural and urban areas in our own country? That's political too, and in a very shortsighted way.

    It’s not just in self-interest that I remark on a 400 square mile dead zone that has existed since 1997 in this area. The area is short of jobs and yet has highly skilled tech graduates coming out of state schools around here, and some nice landscapes for job sites due to consolidation of farming in the region. So there’s a lot of leakage and waste and failure to max out potential returns just from not acknowledging the utility of integrated communications tech, and not incentivizing a rollout before another tech-educated generation wanders off to compete for jobs in NY, LA, London, Singapore. Hey, I don’t have to care, I’m old so DSL and WiFi-calling works for me. But seriously, 3Mbps for an electronics assembly plant? The plant is not going to happen.

    Thanks for letting me rant behind your observant and politically generous post. We might not agree on how to finish connecting America to itself but we’re probably more tuned into the idea than is around half the Congress, which is just wrong. Someone needs to hold them accountable. If it’s not the voters yet, even at this late stage of basic tech rollouts, then it should be the President and his or her administration’s duty to use the bully pulpit to wake some voters up.

    We the voters -- and the underemployed-- don’t necessarily understand the connection between lack of jobs and lack of communications infrastructure. There is one. Way past time to stop ignoring it. Obama’s crew did a good job of demos and opening some windows and doors (with the infamous exception of ACA rollout, jeez). Next crew shouldn’t slide backwards on moving the country’s tech forward.
     
  20. mojolicious macrumors 68000

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    North of 50, south of 60. Not that I'd have any qualms about a President taking office at the age of 60, but there are no guarantees that he/she's still going to be physically and mentally robust at the end of a second term.
     
  21. DrewDaHilp1 macrumors 6502a

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    Terry Crews bald or Dr. Phil bald?
     
  22. Eraserhead macrumors G4

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    45-65 upon entering office for the first time.
     
  23. samcraig macrumors P6

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    Terry Crews.
     
  24. Herdfan macrumors 6502

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    I think Governor no matter the background to getting there. Look at Bill Clinton. He was a Governor and had experience in having to compromise, so maybe a Governor from a purple state or at least a mixed legislature. Look at Obama, he spent some time in the IL Legislature and then in the US Senate where he never had to compromise. So he never has a President and no matter what his supporters would say, it has hurt the country. Hey Mitch, Paul, John, Nancy and Harry have helped him be this way, but it is not good for the country.

    I don't think Presidents should come from the House or Senate either as those bodies have become too polarized and political.
     
  25. Solomani macrumors 68040

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    Approximately double the ideal age for a porn star.
     

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