Another reason for the rising age of Congress is the death of the term limits movement — if you are looking for an exact time of death, it’s when Washington State Rep. George Nethercutt got re-elected in 2000 — and the growing tendency to see politics as a profession. Politics is no longer regarded as a way station between careers or a sort of career-capper at its end. It’s an end in itself. And that means people stay longer. Much longer.
The WSJ infographic is absolutely amazing — allowing you to see the average age for Congresses dating all the way back to 1979. You can also see how many Members are a certain age and how they split between the two parties.