For reasons that should be obvious, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) seems a little preoccupied with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lately. Last week, Republicans scored big election victories on Tuesday, and by Wednesday morning, the Kentucky senator was running around calling the results “a repudiation of Hillary Clinton.”
Yesterday, he went just a little further.
Is Hillary Clinton too old to be president? He won’t say it outright, but that’s the question Sen. Rand Paul is getting at.“It’s a very taxing undertaking to go through. It’s a rigorous physical ordeal, I think, to be able to campaign for the presidency,” the likely Republican presidential candidate told Politico Monday.
Politico added that in context, the senator was “none too subtly raising the issue of her age.”
Asked about possibly clarifying the comments, a Paul spokesperson told BuzzFeed, “Nothing to add here.”
At a certain level, it’s hard for even Clinton’s most ardent supporters to get too worked up about stuff like this. It’s a certainty that Hillary Clinton has heard more insulting comments than these, and Rand Paul’s willingness to throw verbal jabs in her direction is only going intensify as the process unfolds.
For that matter, the chatter itself is inevitable. Reagan, at age 69, faced questions about his age in 1980, as did John McCain in 2008 at age 72 and Bob Dole in 1996 at age 73. Clinton is 67 now, she’ll be 69 in 2016, and if she runs she’ll have to talk about this. I rather doubt this will be a problem for a possible Clinton campaign, but we’ll find out soon enough.
What’s irksome, though, is the fact the chiding is coming from Rand Paul, of all people, who probably hasn’t thought this one through.
In 2008, a Texas congressman by the name of Ron Paul launched his second presidential campaign. He was, at the time, 73 years old.
In 2012, Ron Paul, launched his third bid for national office, and ran an even more competitive presidential campaign. He was 77.
Rand Paul, Ron Paul’s son, has spent a good chunk of his adult like campaigning on his father’s behalf, promoting his father’s strange beliefs, and urging voters to support his father’s presidential campaigns.
So maybe the senator should leave questions about Hillary Clinton’s age to others?
As for the question on the merits, BuzzFeed’s report noted, “When Clinton campaigned for Democrats during the midterms this fall, she kept a demanding schedule. In a 54-day period, she appeared at 45 events in 20 states, stumping for at least 26 different candidates, according to her office. “
It’s not unreasonable to think she’s prepared for “a rigorous physical ordeal.”