Their current combined age is 216, I should specify. Tack another 11 years on there if you’re looking for their combined age as of Election Day 2020. (Biden will turn 78 a few weeks after the next election.)
…annnnnd the highly contradictory table two:
Science will eventually figure out a way to extend human life spans to the point where America’s comfortable electing a president who’ll turn 80 while in office, but it ain’t happening by 2020. Biden will be 78 by then and Bernie Sanders will be 79. They’re nonstarters, included among the top three here due to pure name recognition and, in all likelihood, widespread public ignorance (for now) of just how old they really are. Warren, who’s 67, is a different story. She’d be among the oldest nominees ever in 2020, but she’s three years younger than Trump and would be only a year older in 2020 than he was when he won the nomination this year. Women tend to live longer than men too, so Democrats should be okay with rolling the dice on her. She’s a logical choice for a party that’s suddenly discovered it can’t trust demographics and identity politics to deliver victory in every circumstance. If they’re going to try to win back white working class voters, the class warrior Warren is an obvious possibility. (Whether a woman professor from Harvard would hold the same retail appeal to blue-collar voters as the politically incorrect alpha-male Trump is a separate question.)
If it’s not her, then who? Cory Booker would try to fill the Obama vacuum but without the same charisma and trailblazer appeal. Kirsten Gillibrand seems like a reasonably competent politician but maybe a woman senator from New York with lots of Wall Street donations isn’t the person to undo the damage from Hillary Clinton in the midwest. Kamala Harris, although she hasn’t take her Senate seat yet, might quickly find herself as the fallback option to Warren as someone who’s liberal, young, a woman, a minority, and a senator from the country’s biggest state. She’s not an obvious choice to win back the Rust Belt either, but there are really no heartland Democrats with a national profile to fill that niche. To find a winning coalition in 2020, Democrats might need to put Wisconsin — and Pennsylvania? — on the back burner and go all in on flipping Florida, Arizona, and Michigan. It’s a near-lock that a Latino candidate will be on the ticket, but maybe not at the top.
In case you missed it in Headlines earlier, here’s a fun short piece about Warren acting like a total idiot. In lieu of an exit question, enjoy this new portrait of the 45th and 46th presidents together. Like the man himself says: 2024.
— Elliott Wilson (@ElliottWilson) December 13, 2016