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October 07, 2008


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I think you mean D-WV not D-NJ for Byrd, not that this changes the argument, of course.

Linda Lingle does a welcome to Hawaii message that I have seen, well, too many times. She is amazingly stiff for some elected to public office. I suspect that the Senate would be a good place for her to advance in, as opposed to running for a higher executive office.

Spike Gomes

Amazingly stiff is the norm for Hawaii politicians. The last politician to actually have any natural charisma was Fasi, the former mayor of Honolulu. Nowadays you can still see him in the heart of downtown. He eats breakfast at this little Mexican place at the same time every morning.

The party apparatuses tend to do much of the candidate selection work.


I'm amazed that the US Senate has 6 members over 80 years old, and another four (or more?) over 70.
Any other western democracies with a similar proportion of octogenarians in office?


There's Byrd, there's also Grassley, who's the same age as Feinstein (Lieberman in a skirt), who's an R with a Dem Governor.

God is cruel to the Kennedys,so I expect EMK dies in the near term and Arlen Specter, of Spectering fame, lives on and on and on. There's wildcard Tim Johnson who had a massive brain haemorrhage.

Voinovich is 72, but he's started to show dementia; his governor is a Democrat.

I favored Lingle/Rell over Palin. Sigh.


Strom Thurmond made it to 100, so if some of the older Senators follow his example there might be fewer changes than one might expect.

Syd Webb

Ray wrote:

"Any other western democracies with a similar proportion of octogenarians in office?"

The UK House of Lords, at least before the recent reforms, had membership for life and could be codgeriffic. Can any readers inform us about the Japanese Diet, or the Canadian upper house?

In Australia OTOH a politician of Senator Joe Biden's vintage would be considered unusually old. (Although our last PM was 67 when he concluded his 34 years in the House of Representatives; he was an outlier too.)

Dennis Brennan

Specter is not only 78 years old, but has been undergoing chemotherapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma (diagnosed about three years ago).

Ed Rendell is term-limited out of office in 2010.


The Canadian Senate has mandatory retirement at age 75.

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