If he was watching from the White House, President Biden might have winced last week when Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared in her speech on the House floor that “the hour has come for a new generation to lead.” Fortunately for him, she made sure to then add “the Democratic Caucus,” a caveat he no doubt appreciated.
Although Mr. Biden turns 80 years old on Sunday, he has made no plans to call attention to the milestone, much less to step down, celebrating only with a private family brunch. But the confluence of his milestone birthday with the 82-year-old Ms. Pelosi’s passing of the torch has inevitably renewed attention on the gerontocracy that has led both the Democratic and Republican parties for years and raised questions about when a new generation will come forth.
Over the last couple of years, the United States has been under the stewardship of the oldest leadership class in its history, with a president, House speaker, House majority leader, House majority whip, Senate president pro tempore, Senate majority leader, Senate majority whip and Senate minority leader all in their 70s or 80s. The 117th Congress that will complete its term in January is the oldest the country has ever seen, with nearly one in four members over the age of 70.
Mr. Biden, America’s oldest president and the first octogenarian in the Oval Office, has said he will officially announce his plans early next year, but he has indicated that he “intends” to run for re-election, which would make him 86 at the end of a second term if he were to win. Former President Donald J. Trump, who kicked off a campaign last week to oust his successor, became the oldest man to assume the presidency when he was sworn in in 2017, until Mr. Biden beat his record last year. Now 76, Mr. Trump would be 82 at the end of his second term should he recapture the White House.
Average age of House Dem leaders today: 82.3— Dave Levinthal (@davelevinthal) November 17, 2022
Average age of likely new House Dem leaders: 51.3https://t.co/jrj1PWUzKT