07/07/2013 08:48 am ET Updated Sep 06, 2013

The Latest Republican Fail: Making Fun Of Hillary's Age


How hard will it be for the Democrats to maintain the White House in 2016? About as tough as catching fish in a bathtub -- as long as the already-demographically-challenged Republicans keep up the stupid stuff.

You'd think the 2012 election would have taught them that you can't win the White House by insulting huge blocs of potential voters. But here's the latest brilliant idea from the party that gave us "legitimate rape" and "binders full of women:" offend an increasingly female and graying electorate by getting all snarky about Hillary Clinton's age. (She'll be 69 when we next elect a President.) Leading the charge is 71-year-old spring chicken and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who showed how down he is on trending pop-cultural references by comparing a Clinton ticket to a "re-run of the Golden Girls."

Karl Rove says he considers the age-bashing strategy "compelling" which ought to be enough to warn Republicans away from it. This clumsy attempt to appeal to the youth vote is such a pathetic misfire you really have to wonder whether the Democrats are the ones publicizing it.

But this latest silliness highlights a sad irony. While Clinton remains at the top of 2016 polling, women who represent her demographic still have trouble finding jobs. According to the latest US Department of Labor statistics, older job-seekers of either gender remain unemployed for longer than younger workers--for an average of 54 weeks. Let's hope the one positive that comes out of this nonsense is a discussion about the ageism in hiring that is working against wise and experienced older workers of all sexes (and political parties).

Nan Silver is a journalist and New York Times bestselling author specializing in psychology, parenting and health. With Dr. John Gottman she is co-author of the books What Makes Love Last? and The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work. Connect with her at and on twitter.