Former Democratic Missouri senator Claire McCaskill, now 69 years old, appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, saying she believes Democrats have an age issue in their leadership ranks.
McCaskill served as Missouri senator from 2007 to 2019, and has since been a political analyst for NBC and MSNBC. On Sunday, she weighed in on the future of the Democratic party, and whether President Joe Biden’s advanced age will be a problem in the next presidential election.
“I do think the Democratic Party is struggling with an issue that is real,” McCaskill said. “And that is that all of our leadership, and I say this as somebody who’s ancient.”
She added, “A lot of old folks are running the Democratic Party now in every part of the Democratic Party. I think the Democratic Party will benefit from really doing some navel-gazing about ‘how can we get more young people to the forefront?,’ because young people are going to be really important to us in 2024.”
The average age of the United States Congress has risen over the years, according to data company FiscalNote. “The average age of the 117th Congress is 59 years old and the median is 60 years old. This is much higher than the median age of 38 years in the United States in 2019,” FiscalNote said in its February 2021 report.
President Joe Biden is currently almost 80 years old, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is 82. Other influential Democratic leaders include more octogenarians, like House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) who is 82, and House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who is 83.
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