Is Hillary too old to be president?


Nate Cohn relies on actuarial tables to ARGUE that Hillary Clinton is not really all that old:

Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers are unprecedented. She holds more than 60 percent of the Democratic primary vote, a figure usually reserved for popular sitting vice presidents—even though these polls pit her against a sitting vice president. It’s tempting to wonder whether it’s even possible for her to lose the Democratic nomination. I asserted in a meeting two weeks ago that she has a 99 percent of locking up the nomination, although who knows the actual odds. But if her chances are close to that, her biggest challenge might just be surviving to November 2016.

According to actuarial data from the Center for Disease Control, four percent of 65-year-old white women will die before November 2016. Now, Hillary Clinton isn’t the average 65-year-old white woman: She’s probably healthier than most, she’s rich, and she will have access to the best medical care. Her mother lived to age 92 (a 65-year-old white woman lives to a median age of 85 or 86). All of those factorsimprove her odds. Indeed, the University of Pennsylvania’s life expectancy calculator suggests Clinton’s life expectancy is more than 94 years, with a median of 96. According to my back of the envelope calculation, a 65-year-old white woman expected to live to 96 has a 99.2 percent chance of surviving the Iowa caucuses and a 98.9 percent chance of surviving the 2016 presidential election.


A 65-year-old white woman has the same odds of dying the following year as a 60-year-old white male. That puts her in roughly the same place as George H.W. Bush when he sought the presidency. She probably has a better chance than Ronald Reagan did. It would seem to give her much better odds than vice president Joe Biden, who’s a male and already older: eight percent of 69-year-old white males will die before the 2016 presidential election.




  1. Steverino

    I’m sure we’ll hear a lot about dementia from Fox Noise over the next few years.

  2. Neftali

    Steverino – No, we won’t.

  3. Neftali

    Noted feminist liberal Camille Paglia isn’t too happy with the alleged inevitability of Hillary’s nomination.

    “It remains baffling how anyone would think that Hillary Clinton (born the same year as me) is our party’s best chance. She has more sooty baggage than a 90-car freight train. And what exactly has she ever accomplished — beyond bullishly covering for her philandering husband? She’s certainly busy, busy and ever on the move — with the tunnel-vision workaholism of someone trying to blot out uncomfortable private thoughts.

    I for one think it was a very big deal that our ambassador was murdered in Benghazi. In saying “I take responsibility” for it as secretary of state, Hillary should have resigned immediately. The weak response by the Obama administration to that tragedy has given a huge opening to Republicans in the next presidential election. The impression has been amply given that Benghazi was treated as a public relations matter to massage rather than as the major and outrageous attack on the U.S. that it was.”


  4. Neftali: Camille Paglia’s snarky attitude toward Hillary Clinton will have exactly zero influence on the electoral politics of 2016. Ninety-nine percent of Americans have never heard of Paglia, and that’s not likely to change any time soon.

    And what makes you think that the Republicans will gain great traction from Benghazi three years from now after having failed to do so when the controversy was fresh in people’s minds and got tons of media play? How come Hillary’s poll numbers are still high after months of Benghazi-related mudslinging by the Republican right?

    Benghazi was and always will be a non-starter as a political scandal. It all boiled down to a turf dispute between the CIA and the State Department. And it hardly tarnished Hillary’s reputation at all — except, of course, among Republican partisans.

  5. Or Camille Paglia.

  6. Neftali

    Pat – Hillary’s approval did certainly take a dive directly because of Benghazi. It certainly qualifies for a full-fledged political scandal.

    “The drop in her favorability is substantial among men, Republicans and independent voters. One reason for her drop may be that 48 percent of voters blame her either a little or a lot for the death of the American ambassador in Benghazi,” Brown added.


    Don’t think for a second that one of Benghazi won’t be brought up at the 2015 Democratic debates. Dark horse candidates like Martin O’Malley or Antonio Villaraigosa will be looking for anything to use as leverage.

  7. Steverino

    Nobody cares about Benghazi except the conspiratorial office at Fox Noise and their gullible viewers. Darrell the arsonist already worked that headline into the ground along with the big IRS scandal.

  8. Neftali

    Steverino – As the poll I provided clearly stated, almost 1/2 the people in the country do in fact blame Clinton for Benghazi. So that’s a lot more than just Fox viewers. But go ahead and keep repeating the same tired cliches since that appears be your intellectual limit.

  9. Who’s Camille Paglia? Never heard of her before tonight.

  10. Steverino

    Nef – A poll and half the citizens of the US? Talk about gullible you might want to leave the bubble for some fresh air once in a while.

  11. Neftali

    Steverino – I guess you’re just as dimwitted as your tweedle-dee soul mate Brian in not having any clue how scientific polls work.

  12. Steverino

    We like to inject original thought Nef unlike your cut and paste parade of propaganda.

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