This publication has long held that the Presidency of the United States from 2017 forward would be held by a person old enough to fit within our editorial mission: “to recognize and celebrate a new cultural force and those making the most of it,” as well as “to harvest wisdom and experience from those who have lived long enough to know better yet haven’t been sidelined by history.” Given that goal, this is for us a historic moment: when two out of three of the presumptive occupants of that office would emerge from our demographic constituency, and the third would be close enough to qualify for editorial consideration. We admit to stretching the point, but Bernie Sanders is now 74, Hillary Clinton will be 69 before election day and thus 70 on her next birthday should she be chosen for that office, and Donald Trump became 70 on June 14, 2016. (In that instance, he would become the oldest to enter that office, a record now held by Ronald Reagan).
The editors are aware as well of a conspicuous contradiction between making so much of age in this instance when it is also our policy to erase “the distinction between youth and age.” It may help to note that the field of candidates in 2016 is not yet foreclosed, and that among others who have been mentioned Joe Biden is 73 and Michael Bloomberg is 74. (To save your looking it up, Elizabeth Warren will be 67 on June 22.)
For those not yet familiar with the Trump biography we reprint these pertinent segments from Wikipedia and recommend reading the full text of that encyclopedia’s report.
Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American businessman, politician, television personality, author, and the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party for President of the United States in the 2016 election. He is chairman of The Trump Organization, which is the principal holding company for his real estate ventures and other business interests.
Trump worked for his father Fred Trump’s real estate development firm while attending college. After graduating from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1968, he joined the company and in 1971 was given control, later renaming it The Trump Organization. He has since built casinos, golf courses, hotels, the New York City neighborhood of Riverside South, Manhattan, and other real estate properties, many of which bear his name, and founded Trump Entertainment Resorts (now owned by Carl Icahn). He has also made branding deals that feature his name on properties in which he has minority or no ownership. Listed by Forbes among the wealthiest 400 of The World’s Billionaires, Trump and his businesses, as well as his three marriages, have received prominent media exposure. He hosted The Apprentice, a popular reality television show on NBC, from 2004 to 2015.
Trump first campaigned for the U.S. presidency in 2000, and withdrew before any votes were cast, but still won two Reform Party primaries. On June 16, 2015, he again announced his candidacy for president, as a Republican. Trump became known for supporting measures to reduce illegal immigration, for opposing various free-trade agreements that he regards as unfair, for his frequently non-interventionist views on foreign policy, and for his idea to temporarily ban most foreign Muslims from entering the United States until Congress can determine how to address Islamic terrorism. Trump quickly emerged as the front-runner for the Republican nomination. His remarks and positions have inspired protests both opposing and supporting him.
Trump’s victories, culminating with the Indiana primary on May 3, 2016, led his remaining Republican rivals to suspend their campaigns, whereupon Republican chairman Reince Priebus declared Trump the party’s presumptive presidential nominee. A few weeks later, on May 26, 2016, the Associated Press reported that Trump had gained the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the Republican nomination.