With Nancy Pelosi, An Older Generation Starts To Step Aside

Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi

American President Joe Biden turned eighty a month ago but he was not conspicuous in a political class that rarely sees a young face. Some have termed it a gerontocracy, but there may be some changes afoot as Nancy Pelosi steps aside.

Nancy Pelosi, the outgoing speaker of the House of Representatives, is 82. But gray hair prevails in the Senate with Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell continuing at eighty while Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer at 71.

The announcement of the departure of Nancy Pelosi seems like a change is blowing in the wind. She has already announced that she would not seek re-election as the top Democrat in the House as she makes room for a fresh generation.  The second and third in the line of the House leaders are also in their eighties and are stepping back from leadership roles. But they are not resigning for now from their seats.

Nancy Pelosi Is Being Replaced By Hakeem Jeffries, 30 Years Her Junior

Hakeem Jeffries is only 52 as he replaces Nancy Pelosi. That makes him a whole generation younger than several of his Capitol Hill colleagues. The oldest is Iowa’s Senator Chuck Grassley who is on his 8th term at 89. Dwight Eisenhower, the Second World War hero, was still president when he started his political career in 1959. The other Nancy Pelosi contemporary is Senator Richard Shelby, who was born the year Adolf Hitler declared himself the Fuhrer in 1934. He retires at 88 at the end of 2023.

Dianne Feinstein has caused a debate if people should automatically retire after a certain age. At 89, the respected legislator has lost a part of her cognitive ability. Many in her party did not think she was good enough to do the job. Biden would be 86 if he decides to seek re-election as the US president in 2024.