FARGO -- Numbers to ponder: 77, 78, 70, 78, 73. Those are ages of the most recent Democratic candidates for president, plus the age of the interloper in the White House. All qualify as baby boomers, although it can be argued that older members of the lineup are on the fringe of the post-World War II baby boom, and thus fall into a cohort born just before the boom, usually pegged at starting in 1946. What is striking is this: For all the Democrats’ lip service about youth, diversity and inclusiveness, the candidates who were still standing immediately after last week’s Super Tuesday contests constituted a gaggle of old men and one septuagenarian woman. Average age: 75.2 years Now it’s been culled to two old men, average age: 77.5 years.
Former Vice President Joe Biden (77) confounded the punditry with a convincing Super Tuesday comeback. Not bad for a candidate who was written off after losing the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary. He dumped election sand into Bernie Sanders’ campaign machine, effectively grinding to a halt the Vermont senator’s juggernaut. Super Tuesday made it a two-man race, and Sanders is in second place. Biden won because voters believe he is the best qualified to oust the prez and his corrupt cabal.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (78) sings one note: free stuff for everybody. Its oil slick-deep appeal is evaporating. He’s morphed from a true-blue socialist into a “democratic socialist,” whatever that means. He’s a Democrat by opportunism, not by conviction or party loyalty. Voters are learning he does not play nice with others and that his record of accomplishment in Congress is short. Super Tuesday suggests the cult of Bernie can not by itself re-energize the Democratic coalition that elected Barack Obama twice.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (70) is out of the running. She should be. She did not win a single state last Tuesday. She finished an anemic third in her home state. Ouch! A flash in the early primary pan, she hasn’t generated a spark since then. Her message has been lost in her hectoring rhetoric, or subsumed by Sanders.
Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg (78) proved money does not translate into winning. He spent millions in Super Tuesday states and had little to show for it. He dropped out the next day. His competence and moderate approach to politics and policy did not sell well among Democrats when packaged in a billionaire. Too bad. Bloomberg knows more about the Oval Office con man than any of the other candidates. He possesses the brilliance and wit to use that lowdown like a rapier. Even with his campaign suspended, he intends to stick it to the liar-in-chief. That’s a good thing.
One more number: 73. That’s me. Like the candidates and the accidental president, I’m a boomer. A boomer has been president since Bill Clinton (73). George W. Bush is 73. At age 58, Barack Obama is a young boomer. A boomer is in the White House now (73). A boomer (a different one, I hope) will be the next president.
And about the pejorative retort, “OK, boomer!,” popularized by smug millennials? Given the seniority of 2020’s political winners, I say: Right back at ya, kiddies … !