Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Is Arlen Specter too old for the Senate?

Sen. Arlen Specter turns 78 today. So much has been made of the fact that Sen. John McCain will be 72 by the time he is sworn in as president should he win the November election. What about Pennsylvania's senior senator?

Specter will be 80 when runs for reelection in 2010. And he's already announced that he plans to seek another term. If he wins, he'll be 86 by the time his term ends.

What is it about politicians who want to be carried out on a stretcher? There comes a point where ego becomes more important than service to constituents. Has Specter crossed that line?

Rep. Tom Lantos, a California Democrat, died Monday at age 80. He wasn't planning to seek another term.

West Virginia Sen. Robert C. Byrd is 90 and has served in Congress since 1959. I guess Specter is a spring chicken compared to Byrd.

And then there was Strom Thurmond, the South Carolina senator who served from 1956 to 2003 when he turned 100.

I don't think the framers of the Constitution envisioned lifetime political careers for U.S. Senators. That's the direction we're headed.

As a body, the Senate qualifies for Medicare, according to USA Today.

The average age of the 100-member chamber is the oldest it has ever been, according to the Senate Historical Office.

The national median age for Americans is around 36, but many of the people representing us in Congress are in their 60s, 70s and 80s. Talk about a generation gap.

And how seriously will these old-timers take Sen. Barack Obama if he should win the presidency. Some of these guys were in the senate before Obama was born. They're not going to like taking orders from a 46-year-old kid.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Arlen is too old for senate and in Lower Merion the residents are too old for Tracy