In a recent column, 61-year old Maureen Dowd wrote about the inevitability of the nomination of 68-year (in 2013) Hillary Clinton, especially if 73-year Joe Biden would do the right thing and stand aside. Her chief source of quotes was 68-year James Carville.

Before John Kerry in 2004, we have to go all the way back to 61-year Horatio Seymour's sacrificial-lamb candidacy against Ulysses S. Grant in 1868 to find a first-time party nominee aged older than 59. (Seymour died a few weeks after the election; if elected, he definitely wouldn't have served.)

The party likes to go young (a simple fact that Dowd could have confirmed with Google, but why do any homework when James Carville will take your calls?). Considering the way the demographics of the party are trending, Clinton's nomination is anything but a gimme.

Had Hillary Clinton led a principled opposition to the Iraq war instead of trimming to the political winds of the hour, she'd be in her second term right now. She has no one but herself to blame for being faced with the task of becoming the oldest first-time nominee in the history of the Democratic party.

What, really, has distinguished her in the last five years? Barack Obama has directed foreign policy from the White House; Clinton's presence has been no stronger than anyone else's. She has, as far as I know, never stopped ducking the question of her support for the Iraq War.

That Clinton has "gone to hell and back trying to be president" (Carville) doesn't entitle her to anything. Perhaps she should stop with the makeover and step aside.

Tue May 13, 2014 at 8:47 PM PT: Rereading this diary and the comments, I was unclear on one point: If nominated in 2016, Hillary Clinton would be the oldest first-time Democratic party nominee. As a couple of commenters pointed out, Republicans have chosen several first-time nominees older than 60. Also, I excluded Harry Truman, who was already president when nominated for the first time at age 62.

For the record, I myself will be in my 60s in 2016. I wrote this diary simply to point out a fact of Democratic party history, not take a position on whether HRC is too old or not. |

As for knowing who my target audience is, this is a diary. By definition, the audience is myself. In any case, I know of no rule of writing that says that good writing tells people what they want to hear.

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