In a feature in this month's edition of The Atlantic, Hanna Rosin notes that one of the favorite lines of attack for Hillary Clinton's critics is to harp—sometimes rather obliquely—on her age.
"Articles have proclaimed: 'Affluent Grandmother Is 2016 Frontrunner,' 'Memory Problems Could Doom Hillary’s White House Run,' and 'Grandmother Hillary Clinton, 67, is vying to become one of the oldest world leaders in history,'" Rosin writes. "When People magazine put her on its cover, The [Washington] Free Beacon’s editors gleefully dived into the debate about whether she was leaning on a walker in the photo. (Her hands were, in fact, on a patio chair.)"
Clinton isn't that old—she'll be 69 on Election Day 2016—but all this talk of age has some Democrats worried about the graying of the party's pool of candidates, and the shallow bench of youngsters behind them. Many in the party are worried about the age of party leaders in Congress. But one of the clearest demonstrations of the age gap is in races for the U.S. Senate, where Democrats hope to recover control in 2016.
On Wednesday, former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland announced he will run for Senate against incumbent Republican Rob Portman. That's a blue-chip recruit for Democrats. Strickland is one of the few figures in the party who's actually won a statewide election in Ohio, and if he hadn't had the misfortune to be up for reelection in 2010, a big wave year for the GOP, he might still be in office. (Even so, he only lost by two points.) With proven electability, strong name recognition, and fundraising ability, he's widely believed to be the party's best chance to take out Portman, a respected senator with national Republican backing.