Not long ago, former President Jimmy Carter said that 80 years old is too old to carry out the duties of President of the United States.  He should know since he was the President – and knows the duties – and he is now 94 years old – so he knows what really old age is like.  He is right.

Pondering Carter’s opinion – and realizing that I am just a couple of putts away from 80, myself – I have abandoned all ambitions and plans to run for President of the United States.  As onetime Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen responded when asked about plans to run for President despite his age – “That ship has long ago left the dock.”

The pollsters tell us that Former Vice President Biden has the edge with older voters. As an older voter, I am surprised.  All the folks with whom I communicate who are 80 or older talk about all the creeping limitations of body and mind – and that is even the most vigorous of them.  They tire easily.  They get forgetful and confused a bit.  They already have a host of medical issues that sap their vitality.

Even the most vigorous septuagenarians and octogenarians recognize that they are in the danger zone of life – that time when “anything can happen.”  We seniors are a day away from a catastrophic health event.  Though not catastrophic, we saw how a small heart attack took Senator Bernie Sanders off the campaign trail for a week or so.

Joe Biden and Sanders have both already surpassed the life expectancy of an average American male (76 years).  The fact that both have had serious health problems in the past puts them at even a higher risk.  The odds suggest that Biden and Sanders will have significant health issues sometime in the next four years.  You can bet on it.

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If we just consider geriatrics, President Trump has the age advantage.  He is a kid compared to them.  At 74, he would complete a second term before he hit 80.  In fact, he would leave office after 8 years at the same age Biden or Sanders would be inaugurated for their first term – making them the oldest presidents every elected.

President Reagan was 78 when he completed two terms – and there were reports that he was already suffering from age-related health issues in his final months in office.

I know it is politically incorrect to question a person’s ability purely because of age, but as Biden, himself, often says, “Come on man, get real.”  The presidency is an extremely demanding job.  There are enormous pressures.  Long days and short nights.  It requires great stamina – not something found in very old people.

In brief appearances, Biden looks great – full of energy.  But he also has a lot of time off from the campaign trail.  He can afford to do that during a campaign, but not as President.

Biden is showing his age, as they say.  Many of his gaffes are common in older folks.  He forgets or confuses names and places.   He loses his train of thought in what some call a “senior moment.”

Sanders does not seem to mind showing his age.  That is not true of Biden – who uses makeup to cover up lines and “age spots” during television appearances.

I would never suggest that age be the ONLY criteria for determining a vote, but it should be taken into consideration. After all, President Franklin Roosevelt was elected to a fourth term when those close to him knew that he was terminally ill – and would not live out the first year much less the entire four-year term.

It is increasingly likely that Biden will be the Democratic nominee for President.  Most supporters will vote for him despite his age.  They should not, however, think that age and health will not be an important issue sooner than they might think.


So, there ‘tis.

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By Larry Horist

So, there ‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

13 thoughts on “Jimmy Carter is right … Biden is too old”
  1. I do wish you would make your articles sharable to FB and other areas of social media. By the way, jimmy Carter is correct. Trump/Pence 2020. KAG.
    Vote red, save America!!!

  2. Does anyone want someone this old and confused with his hand on THE button? What if he puts it down somewhere and forgets it? Americans, please do not vote for either Commie Bernie or Creepy Joe.

  3. joe Biden (with his mental state and GAFFEs) and KOMRAD Bernie (with his HEART ATTACK) are both ALARMING and FULL of health concerns, not just their FAILING POLITICS. I doubt if either one of them would finish out their Presidential terms . And, a president PASSING ON while in office is very traumatic to the nation. One VERY concerned Patriot. Team Trump and his allies 2020.

  4. I agree with everything you said when I see my friends that are that age make those mistakes we laugh and say exactly what you said oops a senior moment. I have a friend who is 79 he says at my age I just glad I put my underwear on the inside of my pants again we joke. I am sure those with grandparents find it cute but we are talking about the presidency here not your friend or grandfather. This will also put a lot of pressure on who he picks to be vice president. The odds are simple who ever he picks as his vice president has a really high chance of taking over as president. The people he seems to be thinking of are not anyone the American people would elect if they ran today. That’s why I tell all the people who want to vote for Joe wait until you see who he picks as his Vice president because that’s probably who you will be electing to be vice president.

  5. they are both verging on senility and really should be retired,there should be an upper age limit on presidential candidates like 75

  6. I am 81 and I agree with President Carter. I would never ever run for office at my age, to many medical things turn up and I notice that Joe makes to many mistakes in his comments and I believe that he has a mental problem which would seriously affect his term of office. If you still like Biden you better have a great VP to take over.

  7. Hello Larry Horist:

    you are so right – but I want to add:
    80 years old is too old for any job, where you have to concentrate to be good,
    is too old for any job where you have to decide about the wellbeing for others,
    as a public figure,
    definately much too old to be still in a “life time” position, like a judge.
    Original-lifetime jobs should end at 65.
    Maximum 80 years of age is (or should be) the last point of retirement of any and all jobs –
    to my mind – – but I am already 81. –

    What do you think?


  8. I.R.Heller I would never say that 80 is too old for any job. I have a lady friend who is 89 and writes a monthly column for a newspaper. She is sharp as a tack and has not trouble with the computer, email and all those other new fangled things. I am over 75 and can play tennis in 90-degree weather, enjoy an active social life, and write more than 30 commentaries a month. And I recently jumped out of an airplane at 14,000 feet for the first time. I was reluctant to mention the last action since a number of people said that I have, indeed, lost my mind. Iam a firm believer that people should be productive as long as they can. However, it all depends on the job. I would not recommend 80-year-old firemen or brain surgeons.– or presidents. Also, the presidency is a four year commitment .. so it is not only how active Biden or Sanders may be today. We are all at that age where “anything can happen” — and eventually will.

  9. Jimmy Carter could not be more correct on this! I retired at 64! My husbad the same! We are so glad we did! Be with family the time you have left, grandkids need to know you and they are such fun!

  10. Biden is suffering from Dementia. But he won’t admit it ? He has said he would pick a woman for VP. Hillary? Heaven help the USA if he gets elected.

  11. If elected Biden will not finish his term and hand the presidency to the vice-president (that is imposing on voters an unlected president). I think this what democrats have in mind .

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