James Moore: Hillary Clinton is brilliantly qualified to be president
Moore: But it is time for America to move on to a new generation of leaders
He says age is an important factor; do we want another Clinton dynasty?
Moore: Hillary can make a gracious exit; U.S. should look forward rather than back
Don’t run, Hillary.
Nobody is saying the former secretary of state, New York senator, U.S. and Arkansas first lady, and Yale-trained attorney is not qualified for the White House. In fact, she may have one of the most impressive résumés to ever be submitted for the job. Clinton has a breadth of experience that indicates she has every capability needed to be president of the United States.
But it is time for America to move on.
The first argument against another Clinton candidacy is generational. Baby boomers need to release their arthritic fingers from the torch of leadership and pass it off to another generation. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama will have accounted for 24 years of the presidency by 2016, which seems more than sufficient. Clinton’s election potentially extends boomer influence in a manner that risks creating a generation gap that further increases political disaffection among young voters.
Age is another important consideration, regardless of howls of outrage on this question by her supporters. Clinton would be 69 when she raised her right hand for the oath of office. She would be the second-oldest person to become president – younger than Ronald Reagan by several months.
The pressures of the White House amplify the afflictions of time. Arguably, an optimal president combines an earned wisdom and natural intellect with the residual energy of youth. No one does this by turning 70 during their first year as president, which would be Clinton’s status.
Although doctors pronounced her perfectly healthy after a recent scare with a blood clot on the brain, the probabilities of geriatric disease in office are very real for someone who might be 77 at the end of a second term.
Reagan’s comportment during his last years suggests that he had already begun moving behind the veil of Alzheimer’s. This is not ageism. An accumulation of years defines our range of capabilities, physically and intellectually, and the Clintons as well as the nation need to confront the question of whether a person in their mid-70s is the best to serve as president. The obvious answer is no.