Overripe Democrats in Need of New BloodPosted: November 10, 2014 | |
Pelosi and Reid, both 74, Will Stay in Power in Congress; 2016 Frontrunner Hillary Clinton Is 67
Gerald F. Seib reports: Among the many questions Democrats might ask as they ponder their course after last week’s electoral drubbing, here’s one that gets relatively little attention: Where are the party’s fresh young leaders?
Even after a stunning defeat, the Democrats’ hierarchy in Congress figures to be unchanged when leaders are picked for the new year. In the House, Democrats will continue to be led by Nancy Pelosi , 74, who has been atop the Democratic caucus since 2002. The No. 2 House Democrat still will be Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, age 75.
In the Senate, Harry Reid , 74, will remain the party’s top dog, as he has been for a decade; he now merely moves from majority leader to minority leader.
The party’s top vote-getter on Tuesday was Gov. Jerry Brown of California, a 76-year-old political veteran who first won his current job in 1974. The runaway favorite to win the party’s presidential nomination in 2016 is, of course, Hillary Clinton , 67, who has been a fixture on the national scene for more than two decades.
Indeed, one of the most puzzling questions about the Democrats is this one: If the presidential nomination doesn’t go to either Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Biden, who are the plausible younger alternatives? There isn’t a long list. Perhaps Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 65, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo , 56, or outgoing Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, 51—though the stunning loss on Tuesday by his lieutenant governor, Anthony Brown, once seen as a potential bright new star, has tarnished the O’Malley legacy.
In any case, the list of young leaders lining up behind Mrs. Clinton isn’t a long or obvious one. It’s an unusual position for a party whose core constituencies include young voters.
Meanwhile, Republicans have a veritable youth movement going on by contrast. They figure to have three young senators seeking their presidential nomination in 2016— Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz , both 43, and Rand Paul , 51. Among their ranks of governors lie presidential wannabes Chris Christie , 52; Bobby Jindal , 43; and Scott Walker, 47….(read more)
Write to Gerald F. Seib at firstname.lastname@example.org
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