March 2, 2020

Now that the Democratic candidates for President are all so terribly old — Sanders, 78, Bloomberg, 78, Biden 77 — Trump can repurpose Reagan's old "I am not going to exploit..." line.

Everyone remembers Ronald Reagan's great line — when he was asked if at 73 he was too old —  "I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience."



In the likely event that Trump faces Sanders, Bloomberg, or Biden, he could redo that line a bit and go with it: "I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my youth."

But let me make that a little more Trumpy:
The late, great President Reagan said don't exploit age for political purposes. Don't exploit age. I was thinking of going with that. Don't exploit age. Because I'm young. I'm the young one. Imagine that! The Democrats came up with an opponent for me and he's what? 77? 78? How can you be President when you're almost 80? I'm 74. I'm 74, but my doctor tells me I'm the healthiest 74 he's ever seen. I'm the young one here! But should I say, no, I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my youth? My youth! If I say, I am young, they'll say I'm ageist. Ageist! They talk like that: sexist, racist. They'll say ageist! Ageist! These people. They'll say anything. But they like to say they're the party of youth! Youth!? They put up a guy that's practically 80! They're so incompetent. Let's take a vote. How many of you think I should exploit my youth for political purposes? How many of you think I should exploit my youth and how many of you think I should just shut up about how old we all are? Let's take a vote...

61 comments:

BADuBois said...

Ah yes, Ronald Maximus, back in the day when political giants strode the landscape... not like the pygmies (on both sides) we suffer through now.

Hagar said...

Good one, Professor!

n.n said...

Ageism is a concern. Biden seems to be the least viable of the trio. Sanders is next in line. Bloomberg is most likely to survive.

Mattman26 said...

I worked for the Mondale campaign (I know, I know), and thought Reagan was the antichrist, but even then I had to acknowledge that it was an absolutely great line well delivered.

Big Mike said...

Laughing at the three leading Democrats being too old to fit the definition of Boomers.

David53 said...

Oh, you're good!

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

That’s some good Trumpspeak there. Well executed. Althouse has a good ear for dialog, much better than that hack Sorkin.

Johnula said...

Fake, but accurate. Two thumbs up.

Social JusticeIsGay said...

Hey not bad Ann--you've been working on your impression in the wee hours, I see.

Bob said...

love it!

gspencer said...

So classy and so amusing.

Contrast that with the viciousness of the Lloyd Bentsen attack line four years later.

Bentsen really did represented the ugly nature of the Democrat Party, then and now.

Achilles said...

They really really want Bloomberg to win.

All three of them do. And their masters. Sanders had the worst victory speech. He really does not want to win the nomination.

But those stubborn voters just aren't going to go along with it.

Nonapod said...

It's kind of interesting that we have so many septuagenarians vying for the Presidency. Could it be that people value the experience that comes with age more than ever? Or is it because, with modern healthcare techniques like coronary angioplasty and medications like lipitor, many people who might've died in their 70s a few generations ago now will live another 10 years or more? Or maybe it's because the hurdles to becoming a viable presidential candidate are so high that it takes lifetime of social credit and/or wealth accumulation to clear them? Or is it some combination of all of them?

AllenS said...

Right now, the DOW --

26,025.81 +616.45 (2.43%)

Is the panic over? Lot of time in the day left, so we'll see.

Michael K said...

Contrast that with the viciousness of the Lloyd Bentsen attack line four years later.

The amusing part was that Bentsen did NOT know Kennedy. It was a lie. But Quayle was frozen in place. I always assumed Bush chose Quayle to avoid the comparison with more capable alternatives.

The old rule: A executives choose A assistants. B executives choose C assistants.

Michael K said...

Right now, the DOW --

26,025.81 +616.45 (2.43%)

Is the panic over? Lot of time in the day left, so we'll see.


Maybe they are starting to think about all those American plants opening and under construction. China may never recover,

China is shut down and the skies are clear.

narciso said...

Only 16% from the low,

Achilles said...

Nonapod said...

Or is it some combination of all of them?

Baby boomers are all in their 70's now.

Bay Area Guy said...

Clinton and Obama were the last two very successful two-term Dem Presidents elected, respectively, at ages 46 and 47.

So, Yes, I am glad that the Dems have turned away from this pathway to elect Grandpa Simpson or the old crazy socialist.

Hey Skipper said...

Outstanding mimicry.

There is a rhetoric term for mentioning something by not mentioning it. Thinking. Thinking. Ahh. Got it.

Apophasis.

This could stand as 2020's best use of apophasis.

Hey Skipper said...

Outstanding mimicry.

There is a rhetoric term for mentioning something by not mentioning it. Thinking. Thinking. Ahh. Got it.

Apophasis.

This could stand as 2020's best use of apophasis.

rhhardin said...

That would be mocking the fickleness of the voters. Trump mocks it in democrats, ad lib. Huge appreciation on the right for calling them out.

Limited blogger said...

Did Trump say that? At a rally?

It's perfect.

rhhardin said...

It's Trump's style but the need for calling out voter fickleness is universal. Trump is willing to pay the price.

Althouse here is doing it in Trump's name. Let him take the hit for it.

rhhardin said...

Normally only retired people are willing to take the hit for calling fickleness out.

ddh said...

That’s the best imitation of President Trump’s speech patterns I’ve ever read! Fantastic!

robother said...

2020 Trump v. Biden: a choice between the wisenheimer and the alzheimer's.

Gospace said...

What a diverse lineup they have now - three rich married heterosexual white men aged all the way from 77 to 78!

Danno said...

Ann would make a good White House publicist. She would bring the Trump Derangement Syndrome to the boiling point in all of the opposition and media. And that is TRUMPY!

Danno said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
purplepenquin said...

even then I had to acknowledge that it was an absolutely great line well delivered.

Even Mondale himself cracked a grin when it was said, no?

Nichevo said...

The amusing part was that Bentsen did NOT know Kennedy. It was a lie. But Quayle was frozen in place. I always assumed Bush chose Quayle to avoid the comparison with more capable alternatives.


Doc, Jerry Pournelle spoke respectfully of Quayle regarding their interactions on the space program. Maybe he just wasn't great on verbal zingers. I think talking is overrated so the best talker is not always the best man, to my mind.

A word is worth one coin, silence is worth two. - Talmud, Megillah 18a

JPS said...

purplepenquin,

I wrote this here just the other day: I was a Reaganite, and looking back at that clip I really like Mondale for his reaction to that. He looked really genuinely amused.

Drago said...

PP: "Even Mondale himself cracked a grin when it was said, no?"

Yes, because Mondale, like O'Neill, was old school and those guys treated this entire exercise differently.

Gusty Winds said...

All that bitching and moaning about "diverse" candidates, and it boils down to three old white dudes. One with a serious heart condition. One clearly going senile. One who has the charisma of an Ace Hardware employee.

And as Scott Adams pointed out today on Twitter, none of the three can serve two terms.

They should rename it "Blooper Tuesday". This is actually fun.

narayanan said...

Blogger Hey Skipper said...

Outstanding mimicry.

There is a rhetoric term for mentioning something by not mentioning it. Thinking. Thinking. Ahh. Got it.

Apophasis.

This could stand as 2020's best use of apophasis.
________________
well done

from ACEoSHQ yesterday on wordpower

Haggard Hawks 📚🦅 @HaggardHawks

LETHOLOGICA is the inability to remember a word or name.

n.n said...

All that bitching and moaning about "diverse" candidates

They are diverse: Biden, one, Sanders, two, Bloomberg, three, ha ha ha ha; not "diverse" as in color judgments, where color does not matter.

Fernandistein said...

78 is the new 72!

GingerBeer said...

The beauty of that moment was Mondale's reaction. He genuinely enjoyed the joke and his comfort in laughing sealed the election for Reagan.

AllenS said...

DOW

26,194.22 +784.86 (3.09%)

Yancey Ward said...

This is Chuck-bait, right?

M Jordan said...

Not bad, Althouse, not a bad Trump. I’d call it caricature but really, it isn’t.

Hey Skipper said...

✅ LETHOLOGICA is the inability to remember a word or name.

tim maguire said...

Nonapod, the last 3 presidents were relatively young when they walked into the White House. This old age thing is a modern anomaly.

The Clinton machine destroyed all the up and comers to clear the field for Hillary! The only people in a position to run are those who were already too old to be seen as a threat or, like Buttigeig, too young. Nobody in that 50-65 sweet spot is left standing.

Big Mike said...

One who has the charisma of an Ace Hardware employee.

Hey! I shop at the local Ace. The staff are pretty decent people. I would say instead that the candidate you are thinking of compares unfavorably to Greta Thunberg as a humorless scold.

Bruce Hayden said...

“ Baby boomers are all in their 70's now.”

Technically no. The closest to a Baby Boomer President was probably Obama, followed by Bush(43). The Baby Boom ran from maybe 1949-1965. There was a small birth blip in 1946-1947 around the world right after WW II. THEN birth rates went back to historical levels. But in the Aglosphere, at least the white former colonies (US, Canada, Australia, and NZ) birthrates started exploding in 1949-1950, and stayed high into the mid 1960s. That was the Baby Boom. But it really wasn’t a question of more children per woman having children, but more women marrying and having children. The birth rate in this country was on a steady decline from Colonial times, with few exceptions, such as during the Great Depression and WW II, when a lot of the men were off to war. The Baby Boom was on that line, on a per mother basis. My parents had a lot of maiden aunts and unmarried uncles. That mostly disappeared as we entered the postwar period, when the government, along with the MSM of the time, all pushed to get women out of the jobs that they had taken over during the war, because the men were all in the service. And the obvious solution to that social problem was to marry them off to the returning service men.

My point is that none of those four technically qualify as Baby Boomers. The three Dems were all war babies, and Trump was likely a result of that brief worldwide postwar blip in births. McCain was born several years before the war, when his father was in Panama, well before he went to sea. The real Baby Boom cohort is just now entering their 70s, as Ann and I will do during this next 12 months. Most are now in their 60s, with the rest in their latter 50s.

It has long been weird to me that for a self identifying cohort, almost all of our leaders, whether Timothy Leary, the Beatles or Donald Trump, have been from the previous generation. The Clintons, Bush(43), AlGore, Lurch Kerry, Trump, Sanders, Biden, Bloomberg, etc. and then it jumps to Obama, who barely qualifies as a Baby Boomer at the other end. And power at the top completely skips the “Pig in the Python”.

Mark said...

Quayle was frozen in place

Quayle, the guy who had Bill Kristol as an advisor.

Meanwhile, Trump shows people that it is good to have a little swagger to respond to such things.

Chuck said...

Althouse, Trump could never craft a sentence like the one you posited, paraphrasing Reagan.

With his ongoing dementia, I don’t think Trump could read that sentence off a TelePrompTer.

Michael K said...

"With his ongoing dementia, I don’t think Chuck could read that sentence off a TelePrompTer."

FIFY

Freeman Hunt said...

Ha! Excellent Trump-speak. I hope one of his many aides reads this blog. I would love to hear him say something like that.

Michael K said...

My parents had a lot of maiden aunts and unmarried uncles.

My father was one of 10 and his father was one of 12. All raised on farms so they were healthy.

He had three siblings that never married, two sisters and a brother. My grandfather had one sister become a nun but the 9 brothers all married. Another sister never married and the third was widowed at a young age.

Farm families had lots of kids plus "hired hands and hired girls." You see it in the census forms.

My mother was one of four but one died at age 2. City girl and lost her father at age 18 months. Pneumonia at age 50.

Michael K said...

Jerry Pournelle spoke respectfully of Quayle regarding their interactions on the space program.

I think Quayle was smart enough but was no ready for prime time when Bush picked him. The famous "potatoe" thing was an aide, just as Trump calling the COVID death case female was a bad briefing.

Nichevo said...

I wonder why Quayle hasn't made any moves since 1992. If he had run against McCain or Romney I would have taken a long hard look. Perhaps he's just had enough.

bgates said...

That's good. That's very good. It's terrific. Ann Althouse, law professor at the University of Wisconsin, which is a very good school. She's - I guess I should say retired law professor. Retired. Young, but retired. I mean - you're not supposed to speculate on a woman's age, or even say it, but - younger than me, let's say that much. But she retired from the professorship, and now blogs. A lot. Every day, I heard. Interesting writer. You know what her thing is? "Cruel neutrality." Isn't that great? I mean "cruel" isn't great, but the words together. "Cruel neutrality." So she's an interesting writer. Not a Trump voter in 2016, I heard. But she gets it. Because a lot of people try to write like me, to speak like me. And nobody can do it! Althouse can do it, but nobody can do it. You know, they all say it's so easy - "if Trump can do it, anybody can do it." But nobody can do it. Just Althouse.

You know what it is that they miss, that they all miss? It's the love. The love I have for everyone here listening. They want to do it angry. Is this angry? Do you feel angry? And why would we be? Everything's going great! The economy's great, foreign relations never better, the disease is being handled well, very well, and that's why they have nothing. That's I think why they sound angry, because they know they have no platform. Because what are they going to do? What can they fix? Is Crazy Bernie going to fix the economy that we have, this great economy, with socialism? Sleepy Joe Biden, never heard of somebody sleepy and angry at the same time. Running for president since the 80s and just won his first primary. What is he going to fix? And everybody else dropped out, pretty much. Who? Mike! Mike is still in it. I overlooked him. Running for the youth vote, Mike Bloomberg. For the little guy.

And I'm just watching the whole thing, the whole mess - Iowa, they messed up Iowa worse than anybody ever did. And I'm having a great time, and you're having a great time. Have you ever had fun like this? And in politics? And that's what Althouse gets, that none of them can get. Maybe a vote for Trump 2020? We'll see. I think so. We'll see.

Bilwick said...

What's really old is the basic philosophy of the modern Democrats: Statism.

Michael K said...

I wonder why Quayle hasn't made any moves since 1992.

Probably golf. His wife, when some creep accused him of drugs and women, said she knew he was not fooling around because golf gave him no time for that stuff.

Rockport Conservative said...

So now we know, you've been writing Trump's speeches.

narciso said...

right, that was the notorious Voldemort who was responsible for that,

DKWalser said...

I remember when Reagan delivered that line. When he said it, I knew he'd won the election. Yes, it was funny. But that wasn't the reason. Lots of politicians have delivered great lines during a debate and have gone on to lose the election.

Reagan's line 'sealed the deal' because of the context in which it was delivered. The country had done very well during Reagan's first term. It wanted to reelect him. However, Reagan looked tired and, at times, confused during the first debate with Mondale. People started worrying about Reagan's age. Did he still have what it took to be President? Reagan's line -- which he came up with on his own -- allayed those concerns. Reagan was back! Mondale could not win. The election wasn't a rejection of Mondale. It was an affirmation of Reagan.

Big Mike said...

Baby boomers are all in their 70's now.

Some of us are, some aren't. The leading edge of the Baby Boom has been variously defined as born in 1946, born 9 months after VE day, or born 9 months after VJ day and the capitulation of Japan (i.e., the end of World War II). According to all three of those definitions, Donald Trump and Elizabeth Warren are Baby Boomers and the geezers Bernie, Biden, and Bloomie are too old (also Bill Weld, barely).

The end of the Baby Boom is generally taken to be 1964, though that makes the Baby Boom an 18 year phenomenon -- quite a bit longer than any other age cohort like Gen-X or the Millennials. As I recall my high school class, some of us who graduated in spring of 1964 were marrying their sweethearts directly out of high school and starting a family of their own.

Drago said...

LLR-lefty and Sudden Onset Socialist Chuck: "Althouse, Trump could never craft a sentence like the one you posited, paraphrasing Reagan.

With his ongoing dementia, I don’t think Trump could read that sentence off a TelePrompTer."

LOLOLOL

It's not working Chuck. You are not going to be able to transfer the clear dementia exhibited by your beloved Biden onto Trump in the same way you dems try to transfer all your failings onto the republicans.

Not working today, ain't gonna work tomorrow.

Your boy Biden will be lucky to make it to the next restroom before he soils himself.