Meet today’s bête noir among the politically-correct crowd — NBC’s Luke Russert. When Nancy Pelosi announced that she would not step aside for fresh leadership for the House Democratic caucus, Russert had the temerity to ask whether that decision would make the caucus leadership a little too old to relate to younger voters. Russert goed booed for his question, while Pelosi claimed that no one would ask that question about a man:
When Pelosi took questions from reporters, NBC’s Luke Russert asked her whether she thought the House Democratic leadership is too old.
“The answer is no,” Pelosi responded as her colleagues booed loudly. She later called the question offensive and noted that reporters rarely ask such questions of male leaders, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
“Everything that I have done in my almost decade now of leadership is to elect younger and newer people to the Congress,” Pelosi said. “In my own personal experience, it was very important for me to elect young women.”
But the question is worth asking, because Democratic lawmakers have said privately that the party need to begin fostering younger leaders. Pelosi, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), an assistant to Pelosi, are all in their 70s.
In fact, I mentioned that in my post this morning that preceded Pelosi’s presser. The Republican leadership in the House is noticeably younger, and if Cathy McMorris Rodgers wins her leadership fight with Tom Price (both excellent choices, in my opinion), it will get younger still. The comparison will not go unnoticed by political analysts.
For that matter, age issues didn’t go unnoticed in this past election by the media, either. It would be impossible to measure the amount of analysis that went into the stark differences in support between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney based on age demographics. Why would that not relate to the age of the political leadership in play? It’s not “age discrimination,” as the catcalls at the presser claimed, for some voters to feel less affinity for political leaders because they are too far removed from their own personal experience. At least it wasn’t when Democrats attacked Republicans all year for not being diverse enough to attract a national coalition.