It's one thing to use her record against her. That's something completely on the table. If Republicans believe that Benghazi is enough to defeat her in 2016, then so be it. I think they will need more political ammunition, and I think that they know it. Right now, as we speak, Republicans are planting the seeds of another campaign against the former Secretary of State. It's a campaign against her age.
Indiana Republican Party Communications Director Pete Seat penned an opinion piece for Politico published today analyzing a possible Hillary Clinton run. While he never comes out and says that Hillary is too old to run for President (the headline is deceiving), he implies that she's a dinosaur of generations past. Seat's a political message expert, and he tries to hide his less palatable message behind analysis and things, but it's is clearly there between the lines.
It's amazing that Republicans can do this with a straight face. Let's go back through history, Mitt Romney, the GOP's most-recent nominee, was 65 when he accepted the nomination. John McCain was 72 when he accepted the nomination. George W. Bush was a youthful 56 when he was nominated in 2000. Bob Dole was 73. George H.W. Bush was 64 when he took office. Ronald Reagan was 69. Even Gerald Ford was 61. You have to go all the way back to 1960 to find a Republican nominee who was under 50.
Listen, I will concede that many Democrats made age an issue before, but this one didn't. I think it's a question of record. I think it's a question of fitness for the office. If you're 90 and sharp, then have at it.
When Republicans want to name everything after Ronald Reagan and even some that want to put him on money or on Mount Rushmore, it seems really stupid to question someone's age...however you do it. Whether you couch it in some larger piece of analysis or not.
Hillary Clinton won't be the oldest person to be nominated as a candidate for President if she runs. Saying that she will have trouble connecting to a young generation of Democrats based simply on when she was born is foolish. After all, Ron Paul had plenty of youthful supporters last time around during the Republican primary season and he is now 77.
Seat's shortlist of possible "Generation X" GOP Presidential candidates is less than stellar even though they are all less than 50. His shortlist includes 42-year old Florida Senator Marco Rubio, 45-year old Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, 43-year old Congressman Paul Ryan or the 42-year-old Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal. I'll take my chances against that field with Hillary Clinton.
Republicans would be wise not to make Clinton's age a major issue in this upcoming campaign. After all, it was Reagan who turned the questions about his age right back on the Democratic nominee, Walter Mondale, with one quote, "I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience." Plus, she seems to have the meme thing and that Twitter thing all figured out.
Thanks for the inspiration @ASmith83 & @Sllambe - I'll take it from here... #tweetsfromhillary
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 10, 2013