Her campaign barely three weeks old, Hillary Clinton already has been attacked by Republicans on everything from donations to her family’s charitable foundation, to her tenure as secretary of state and her ties to Wall Street. But her rivals, and the political action committees that support them, are treading more carefully on one incendiary subject: her age.
If elected in November 2016, Clinton would be, at 69, the second-oldest person to take the presidential oath for the first time, behind only Ronald Reagan, who turned 70 weeks after being sworn into office in 1981.
Questions of health and fitness for the presidency dogged two former candidates of a similar age, Bob Dole in the 1996 election and John McCain in 2008, each of whom was 71 at this point in the race. Time magazine featured Dole on the cover asking whether he was “too old” for the job. McCain was so determined to show that he was healthy that he often put in back-breaking campaign days.