Often the gems in the New York Times are left to last. Wrapping up a front page Sunday survey on what Republican strategists are saying about Hillary Clinton as their opponent in 2016, Jonathan Martin reported:
“The radio host Rush Limbaugh, echoing his commentary from her first presidential run, asked his audience in April whether the American people “want to vote for somebody, a woman, and actually watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?”
Although it’s a safe bet that Hillary Clinton will outlive Rush Limbaugh, he’s probably good for another national election. Also, it’s unlikely that the Republican Party will get him to shut up. Certainly, the Clinton itching-for-war-room must be preying that he carries on. “Knock on wood,” as Clinton adds wisely about her own “incredible stamina and energy.”
The next president will age visibly, in public. It goes with the job of being president and our preference for following politics on screens. This has been our way for 2 generations. Nevertheless, anticipating the aesthetic decline of the next president has never seriously competed other popular fears and clichés about the future.
For the next 3-and-a-half years, conservatives will try to avoid the word “old.” And every time Hillary Clinton is accused of saying something liberals have been saying since the 70s, her liberal supporters will unleash the word.
It doesn’t feel natural, but that’s politics.