Hillary Clinton

Hillary's So Old, She'd Be the Same Age as Ronald Reagan Was When He Entered the White House

Hillary Clinton is physically and mentally fit for the office. But her policies are absolutely tired, backward-looking & so last-century.


When Hillary Clinton first announced for her run for the White House, conservative wags on Twitter immediately started a hashtag #hillarysoold mocking the former senator and secretary of state for her relatively advanced age compared to her Republican counterparts.

There are at least two problems with such attacks. First, Clinton is the same age as Ronald Reagan was at this point in 1979 and she would be the same age—69 years old—as The Gipper was when he entered the White House in 1981. More important, as I argue in a new Daily Beast article, old age has radically changed over the past few decades:

If Hillary is elected, she'll be 69 years old when she takes office in January 2017. That's not just old, that's William Henry Harrison old. It's Ronald Reagan old. Yet her advanced age doesn't matter one liver spot in the campaign, nor should it. We may be divided by vitally important issues—Iranian nukes, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and whether we should finally adopt European shoe sizes (per Lincoln Chaffee's bold policy proposals)—but we can certainly agree that aging is nothing like it used to be when The Who and The Rolling Stones sang mid-'60s baby boomer anthems about hoping to "die before I get old" and "what a drag it is getting old." (With the Stones currently on tour and Mick Jagger doing his chicken dance at the ripe old age of 71, who's laughing now, Brian Jones?)

Simply put, there's never been a better time to get old, and not just because old farts over 65 have massively increased their wealth relative to the rest of us and can now gum down pills that will make them think sharper, feel hornier, be more continent, and stay awake while binge-watching Murder, She Wrote on Netflix. If we have not yet defeated death and senescence, we have taken long strides toward making it a manageable condition.

You know the drill: 40 is the new 30, 60 is the new 50, and unless you're Harrison Ford behind the controls of a vintage airplane or foolishly letting magician David Blaine into your house, 72 is the new 70 or so.

Here's the catch, though: Clinton's body and mind may be younger than yesterday, but her policy ideas and thinking are like soooo last century.

Which isn't to say that she's immune from age-based attacks. Not on her person, but on her ideas, which are at least as "stale and moss-covered" in their own way as Rand Paul says the Republican Party has become. Looking over her left shoulder at progressive Democrats such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, Clinton often sounds like she is auditioning to implement Barack Obama's third term. Where her husband long ago heralded the "era of big government is over" and proceeded not simply to balance the budget but drive down federal expenditures as a percentage of GDP to well-below averages (see page 345) (PDF), Clinton sounds like an old-style unreconstructed liberal who will tax, spend, and regulate like it's 1969.

When you look at a wide range of issues, Clinton is flat-out awful or, arguably worse, in the midst of a politically driven conversion (as happened to her on gay marriage). She's awful on the drug war, on privacy, on NSA/Edward Snowden, and more. She's going to need to be the rhetorical equivalent of Houdini to wriggle out of her hawkish past as a senator and secretary of state. The one thing she's got going for? Virtually of her Republican opponents, with the notable and partial exception of Rand Paul, are even worse on the same issues.

Read the whole piece here.

NEXT: Sheldon Richman on Obama's Skewed View of Executive Power

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  1. and if Hillary gets half the flack Reagan got for his age I will eat a hat.

    1. She is not going to exploit, for political purposes, her opponent's youth and inexperience.

    2. It does seem odd that the democrats spend years (decades) bitching that republicans are old, rich, white men. Then they offer a candidate who is older, richer, and whiter, but is a woman.

      1. Well, all of their other potential candidates at this point are old white men

    3. Actually, if any of the same pundits who criticized Reagan's age are still around, it would be best simply to post quotes from their arguments on whatever website carries their stuff.

  2. FBI identifies Charleston shooter and it is most definitely a white guy.

    Incidentally, it's amazing how many of these skinhead racist scumbags are chinless pathetic dweebs. The Sikh temple shooter was exactly the same way. I guess if you have no accomplishments of your own you're more likely to decide that you're superior by virtue of your race since you don't exactly have individual achievements to point to.

    1. I'm ashamed that up until last night I appear to have had the same haircut as this person. I was planning on going back to the bowl once summer was over, but I'm gonna have to re-think that stance.

      1. I tried the bowl while I was a lad, did not have the shape for it.

        1. I tend to go for weird, out-of-date hairstyles. It's my contrarian nature. But the bowl actually looked good on me.

          Now like the Nazis ruining the swastika and McVeigh ruining Invictus, if I go back to the bowl, people will think I'm trying to sympathize with this piece of trash. Dead serious. People will actually think I'm making some kind of statement of solidarity.

          1. Don't even get me started on Hitler forever ruining one of the great mustache styles in world history.

            1. He didn't ruin it for the upper lip rebels in the US Army.

    2. The Sikh temple shooter was exactly the same way.

      Actually, I'm pretty sure that the Indian Army forces who shot up the Golden Temple were as brown as the Sikh victims.

  3. Why is there a screen grab from Raiders of the Lost Ark in this article??

  4. I've been horrifying the progs at work with this fact for months now.

  5. Anybody who looks at the U.S. treasury's history of the U.S. debt will note that the U.S. govt hasn't balanced the budget or operated in the black since the Eisenhower presidency.

    The only Bill Clinton can be said to have balanced the budget is if one buys into the Enron scam of counting borrowed money as revenue.

  6. Should Nick Gillespie really be getting on his high horse about people criticizing Hillary's age when Gillespie wrote an article yesterday which contained the following paragraph:

    "Quick, somebody check on Alan Wolfe, the super-respected, 73-year-old sociologist and political scientist at Boston College. Call him up on his Jitterbug phone and make sure he hasn't had a stroke or something."


    "Ultimately, it's the specter of Rand Paul, son of Ron (who "adhered to such radical positions as abolishing the Federal Reserve"!), that's making Wolfe tear through his Depends like Stalin through his former revolutionary comrades in the late '30s."


    1. You expect Gillespie to remember his snide remarks as far back as yesterday?

      Besides that guy was criticizing somethong important to Nick, therefore all scorn is earned.

  7. Hillary is so old, when her fat ass sits around the Oval Office, he makes a lot of foreign money.

  8. Hillary Clinton is physically and mentally fit for the office.

    Citation needed.

    1. She did have at least one stroke.

      Most definitely not ethically or morally fit to hold any position beyond highway trash collection.

  9. Hillary Clinton is physically and mentally fit for the office.

    Pending the release of some medical records, this strikes me as a [citation needed].


    There are at least two problems with such attacks. First, Clinton is the same age as Ronald Reagan was at this point in 1979 and she would be the same age?69 years old?as The Gipper was when he entered the White House in 1981.

    Turnabout is fair play. That's the whole point: if the Dems attack a Repub candidate for being too old, is perfectly fair to mock them for a candidate who is just as old.

    Your premise that old people are effectively younger than they were in the '80s is pretty much unsupported by any evidence that I know of.


    1. I think the only Constitutional physical fitness for office is being a natural born citizen, aged at least 35.

      As far as mental capacity goes, no objected to William H. Crawford in 1824

  10. Fuck this concern trolling. She's old as fuck, Reagan was old as fuck, newsflash people who are 69 are old as fuck. I think it is a valid criticism.

  11. I wonder how well Hillary, with her tired old ideas, will do among those hip young millennial voters that Reason loves so much.

    1. They don't actually listen to her ideas. They just know she's a she, and she's a Democrat. They don't need or want any info beyond that.

  12. hey Nick, Johnny Fairplay just emailed me to say turnabout and all that. At least Reagan wasn't fat.

  13. There are at least two problems with such attacks. First, Clinton is the same age as Ronald Reagan was at this point in 1979 and she would be the same age?69 years old?as The Gipper was when he entered the White House in 1981.

    So she's beginning to suffer from Alzheimer's then? It would explain her memory lapses and several other things.

  14. aging is nothing like it used to be

    With all due respect, I am in just in my mid-40's and with every new random pain or malfunction that strikes I am realizing just how much aging fucking sucks. I don't care if this is the "new 35".

    1. Does it feel like being run through a woodchipper by a US Attorney?

  15. I guess we're all supposed to believe Hillary herself wasn't calling Reagan old as fuck in 1979.

  16. I am disappointed that no one has posted any "Hillary is so old..." jokes.

    Hillary is so old she went to an antique store and they wouldn't let her leave.

    Hillary is so old Jurassic Park brought back memories.

    1. Fist of Etiquette|6.18.15 @ 11:00AM|#|?|filternamelinkcustom

      Hillary is so old, when her fat ass sits around the Oval Office, he makes a lot of foreign money.

      reply to this

      1. Guess I'm getting old. I don't get the joke.

        1. Yeah. it's like a "Hillary is so fat" joke crashed into a "Hillary is so old" joke and instead of a punchline there's a random phrase attached.

  17. This article is so sexist!

    UGH! #icanteven

  18. aging is nothing like it used to be

    Actually, its pretty much exactly like it was in the '80s.

    Of course, now that the boomers are getting old, their exhibitionist/narcissism requires that everyone treat them as if they are the fittest, coolest, youngest old people EVAR!

    But, sadly, that's horseshit.

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