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Monday, December 09, 2019


President Joe Biden

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A friend asked her therapist whether her new romantic interest, 17 years her senior, was "too old." He responded, "Too old for what?"

Those wise words could also apply to President Joe Biden, about whom many are asking the same question. Pushing 80, Biden may be slower than he was. Then again, he's not a contestant on Jeopardy. A president needs a deep well of knowledge and good people to handle the details. Biden seems to have both.

This is not a call for Biden to seek a second presidential term. It is just to say that right now, he is clearly not too old to serve as chief executive of the United States.

There's a bit of hypocrisy on the political fringes when it comes to the ages of their heroes. On the left we have Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is a year older than Biden. Progressive youth worship him still. That Sanders actually suffered a heart attack during the 2020 campaign didn't deter his supporters, nor did it cause most of the media to rule him out.

After Sanders lost the Democratic nomination, his campaign announced that he might run again in 2024. Sanders says that would be "very, very unlikely."

On the right we have Donald Trump. Trump is only two years younger than Biden and seriously overweight. I'd like to see Trump even get on the bicycle that Biden fell off. As president, Trump's most memorable achievement was nearly breaking the democracy.

Youth, meanwhile, is not necessarily a guarantor of superior mental acuity. The youngest member of congress, 26-year-old Madison Cawthorn, is a lunatic.

In any case, if younger people want to challenge the older officeholders, good for them. However, no one has an obligation to, as the ambitious juniors like to say to, "step aside for the next generation." Let the voters decide who can best do the job.

Young challengers would do themselves a service by not flogging their opponents over their age. Did you hear that, Joe Cunningham?

Cunningham is a Democrat who accomplished the feat of winning South Carolina's 1st congressional district for a term. Now running for governor against the incumbent, Republican Henry McMaster, Cunningham is proposing a 72-year age limit for South Carolina politicians. McMaster just happens to be 75.

I hope Cunningham wins, but playing the age card is simply not great politics. For starters, there are a lot of 72-year-old voters. They may not like hearing 40-year-old Cunningham complain that politics in our country are run by a "geriatric oligarchy."

Furthermore, there are all kinds of 72-year-olds. Some are frail; others beat millennials in tennis. Being the chief executive of a state (or a country) does not require athletic ability. Franklin Roosevelt, paralyzed since age 39, guided America through the Great Depression and World War II while in a wheelchair.

In proposing an age limit, Cunningham couldn't possibly have been referring to Rep. Jim Clyburn, the 82-year-old Democratic power broker from his own state. Clyburn is No. 3 in the House leadership and seems to be doing just fine.

It's true that Biden's approval rating currently scrapes the depths, but that surely reflects Americans' generally foul mood. It also reflects his administration's pathetic communications skills.

That's why it hasn't sunk in that under Biden, America has created almost 10 million jobs, and COVID deaths are down 90%. Nor does the public fixate on how skillfully Biden has guided support for Ukraine while minimizing escalation with Russia.

As Barack Obama famously said, "Don't compare me to the almighty. Compare me to the alternative."

Biden has a history of being counted out until he sweeps away the alternatives. It's too early to count him out.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

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There's a lot to look forward to in life as you get older. But the older we get, the more we start to wonder how much longer we're going to live. In order to live longer, it's important to lead a healthy lifestyle and there are many everyday things you can do to benefit your health. Here are six things you can do to imiprove your life.

Move Around

As we get older, our arms and legs don't work as well as they did in our younger years. In fact, there are at least two million new wheelchair users in the United States every year, which means there are two million people who aren't able to get up and move.

One of the best things you can do for yourself to live longer is to keep moving. Even if you're not a gym fanatic, there's plenty you can do to stay active. Aim for at least half an hour of activity every day. You can break it up by taking short walks, lifting some hand weights, playing sports, or walking on a treadmill.

Eat Healthy

It's not always easy, but eating healthy and making good food choices is important the older you get. That doesn't mean giviing up your favorite foods cold turkey, but enjoying foods in moderation and following a diet will help keep you healthy. Studies have found that the Mediterranean Diet, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts, is a good one to follow.

Maintain A Good Weight

Along with eating well and staying active, you can live longer by maintaining a healthy weight. That's especially true of senior citizens. The CDC finds that men and women who reach the age of 80 are likely to live another eight to 10 years. Take time to take note of your weight. If you're unsure what a healthy weight should be, consult your doctor.

Don't Smoke

Of all the things you can do to help yourself live longer, this one might be the most important. Smoking affects the lungs and coronary arteries and the older you get, the more risk you have of a stroke or cancer. Whether you're a casual or longtime smoker, take steps to quit; your body will thank you.

Get Some Sleep

We all have reactions to not getting enough sleep and generally none of them are ever good. A lack of sleep makes it hard to focus, makes you irritable, and perhaps unable to put forth your best effort at work. To help yourself live longer, sleep is paramount. Make sure to go to bed at a reasonable hour and turn off electronic devices so you're only focused on sleeping. Don't be afraid to nap either. A mid-day snooze can be just the thing you need to recharge yourself to focus on the rest of your day.

Make Friends

It's estimated that about one million Americans currently live in senior communities and by 2030 that number is expected to double. In senior living communities, you're surrounded by people who can be your friends. Studies have shown that an active social life can also help you live longer, so don't be afraid to make some new pals.

By taking steps to live a healthier life, you'll give yourself every chance to live longer. You'll also lead a more fulfilling life because you're actively taking care of yourself and doing the things you love doing. So if you're concerned about your health as you get older, take steps to change right away. Even small steps can have a big impact and you may just surprise yourself with how those changes have positive benefits for your health and your life.