Respect your elders: Average age of Democratic leadership is 76 compared to 49 for GOP

by WorldTribune Staff, December 1, 2016

House Democrats doubled down on Nov. 30 and chose the old guard over the new wave.

California Rep. Nancy Pelosi was re-elected minority leader over Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan by a vote of 134 to 63. Pelosi is 76-years-old, Ryan 43.

House Democratic leadership, from left, Rep. Jim Clyburn, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Steny Hoyer. /Getty Images
House Democratic leadership, from left, Rep. Jim Clyburn, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Steny Hoyer. /Getty Images

The top three Democrats in leadership in the House are 76 (Pelosi), 77 (Steny Hoyer) and 76 (Jim Clyburn). The average age of the Democratic Party leadership is 76.

The top three Republican leaders, in contrast, are 46 (Paul Ryan), 51 (Kevin McCarthy) and 51 (Steve Scalise). The average age of the Republican Party leadership is 49.

Pelosi had insisted that Democrats were poised to retake control of the House on Nov. 8. It wasn’t even close.

Even after their humiliating defeat, Democrats stuck with what they knew as opposed to what is unfolding throughout America.

One Democratic representative told NBC News that he wanted to stick with someone “battle-tested.”

Pelosi is indeed battle-tested. In the past decade, though, she is fairly experienced in losing battles. Democrats have lost a net total of 69 seats under Pelosi’s leadership since the election of President Barack Obama in 2008.

Meanwhile, Ohio’s Rep. Ryan said he hopes his run at the leadership position will be a wake-up call for the party elders.

“People are recognizing that the real America is in places like Akron, and Youngstown and Cleveland, more than it is in some highfalutin neighborhoods in Manhattan or Georgetown,” Ryan said in a statement.

“I ran for leader because I believe strongly in the promise of the Democratic Party, but November taught us that changes were necessary. Our party’s losses showed our caucus that we needed to have a serious conversation about our path forward and open the door for new reforms and voices in Democratic leadership.”

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