The impact of Sanders’ heart attack
Bernie Sanders’ heart attack on the campaign trail last week “thrusts a tough issue to the front of the 2020 race,” said Chris Cillizza. “How old is too old to be president?” Sanders, 78, admits he has to curtail his campaign now that he’s had two stents placed in a blocked artery. But his health problems will raise questions for the two other leading Democrats—Joe Biden, 76, and Elizabeth Warren, 70—either of whom would also be the oldest person ever elected president, topping Donald Trump, who was 70 when he won in 2016. Being president “is a hugely stressful job,” requiring enormous energy and sharp, flexible mental skills. Democratic voters are clearly ambivalent about the age of their presidential candidates, with just 3 percent saying in a Pew Research Center poll that their ideal candidate would be in his or her 70s; 47 percent prefer candidates in their 50s. People can remain very vital into their 70s, but Sanders’ heart attack demonstrates that health risks rise as 80 approaches. “The burden of proof” is now on all the Democrats’ septuagenarians to release full health records as soon as possible.