Still, there’s no getting around the fact that Bernie Sanders isn’t just old: he’d be the first octogenarian president halfway through his first term in office. Is the country ready for that? No one knows for sure (as Yglesias notes), but it’s an “issue” for Sanders that could be a genuine problem for some voters, while making Donald Trump the “youth candidate” at 74.
Yes, there have been a number of octogenarians who have served as leaders of other countries. But they are disconcertingly divided among tyrants (e.g., the current old-age champ, Zimbabwe’s 93-year-old Robert Mugabe, and Cuba’s 86-year-old Raúl Castro), figureheads (91-year-old Queen Elizabeth II) and larger-than-life post–World War II anomalies (Winston Churchill and West Germany’s Konrad Adenauer, known to his countrymen as “The Old Man”).