By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
The Save Jersey Team wants to wish Governor Chris Christie a happy 53rd birthday today, Save Jerseyans. He’s back celebrating in N.J. after another New Hampshire swing (before heading back there on Tuesday). Here’s hoping he gets some R&R with friends and family over the long weekend. He’s going to need it; the first voting is only four months away. God help us!
And while we’re on the subject of time, how does the Governor’s age stack up against his potential presidential predecessors?
Exactly average. Almost.
54 years and 11 months is the average age for a U.S. president upon taking office. Chris Christie would be approximately 54 years and 4 months old were he to win the GOP nomination, the general, and then take the oath of office in January 2017.
Across the aisle, this cycle’s Democrat field might be poised to break at least one record: the three “front runners” (Hilldawg, Biden and Bernie) would each be among, or beyond, the age of the oldest presidents in U.S. history on inauguration day. Ronald Reagan was 69 years and 349 days old when he became president in January 1981. Hillary Clinton would be 69 year and about 3 months so just shy of Reagan. Biden or Sanders, however, could claim the crown of the oldest ever: Biden will be 73 years and 2 months old in January 2017 while Sanders will 74 years and 4 months old.
Hail to Methuselah?
Republicans are a lot younger this time around, at least overall. The oldest GOP candidate for 2016, by the way, is George Pataki (age 71 years and seven months in January 2017). The runner up? None other than the Donald. Born June 14, 1946, Donald Trump would be 70 years old and seven months old at his inaugural, making him older than Reagan and younger in the macro-2016 field than only Biden and Bernie.
The youngest GOP candidates are Marco Rubio (who’d be 45 years and eight months old), Bobby Jindal (45 years and nine months old), and Ted Cruz (46 years and one month). Both would STILL be older than Teddy Roosevelt (42 years, 322 days) and John F. Kennedy (43 years, 236 days) but slightly younger than Bill Clinton (46 years, 154 days).
Now, of course, 70 ain’t what it used to be. Americans are living longer, healthier lives than ever before. That being said, politics is a game of contrast and, as John McCain found out in 2008, we’d be lying if we said that there wasn’t a beauty pageant angle to the whole thing. The more telegenic or “likable” candidate has won every election since television helped JFK top Nixon in 1960. With the notable exception of the Gipper, our country hasn’t elected a president older than his 50s since LBJ in 1964. What’s more, a May 2015 YouGov Poll found 92% of Americans favoring a president under the age of 60.
Does that afford a Rubio and advantage over a Clinton or Sanders onstage this time next year? History tells us “yes” it does, at least to a point.
Here is a great list of all U.S. presidents by age.
Below, I’ve gone ahead and listed all current “major” GOP and Democrat candidates (plus Biden) by age for you:
Martin O’Malley – January 18, 1963 (age 52 years)
Lincoln Chafee – March 26, 1953 (age 62 years)
Hillary Clinton – October 26, 1947 (age 67 years)
Joe Biden – November 20, 1942 (age 72 years)
Bernie Sanders – September 8, 1941 (age 73 years)
Marco Rubio – May 28, 1971 (age 44 years)
Bobby Jindal – June 10, 1971 (age 44 years)
Ted Cruz – December 22, 1970 (age 44 years)
Scott Walker – November 2, 1967 (age 47 years)
Rand Paul – January 7, 1963 (age 52 years)
Chris Christie – September 6, 1962 (age 53 years)
Rick Santorum – May 10, 1958 (age 57 years)
Lindsey Graham – July 9, 1955 (age 60 years)
Mike Huckabee – August 24, 1955 (age 60 years)
Carly Fiorina – September 6, 1954 (age 61 years)
Jeb Bush – February 11, 1953 (age 62 years)
John Kasich – May 13, 1952 (age 63 years)
Ben Carson – September 18, 1951 (age 63 years)
Rick Perry – March 4, 1950 (age 65 years)
Jim Gilmore – October 6, 1949 (age 65 years)
Donald Trump – June 14, 1946 (age 69 years)
George Pataki – June 24, 1945 (age 70 years)