Mitch McConnell's War of the Ages

Do the Republicans really want to offend seniors now?

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2013, following a Republican strategy session. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. is at left.

In the 2012 Presidential election, one of the only bright spots for Republicans was with voters over the age of 65, whom they won with 55.6 percent of the vote. They lost the votes of women, blacks, Hispanics, Asians and youth (voters under age 44). Coming off that cycle and with a congressional approval rating hovering around 10 percent, you would think seniors would be an important group to continue to keep in their good graces as the party tries to find its footing and win elections going forward.

But, no – it appears that seniors are to be insulted and alienated as well.

Recently, we learned that, at the Conservative Political Action Conference in March, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell joked that the Democrats' 2016 Presidential ticket, "is shaping up to look like a rerun of 'The Golden Girls.'" He was a clearly implying that he believes his fellow AARP-eligibles, Hillary Clinton, 65, and Joe Biden, 70, are simply too old to serve. Apparently, he hasn't taken a "selfie" recently to help him realize at 71 he is older than both of them.

[See a collection of political cartoons on Congress.]

I searched but couldn't find any evidence of McConnell launching a war on the geriatrics when the GOP nominated Ronald Reagan at 69-years old, or 73-year-old Bob Dole or 71-year old John McCain.  Perhaps McConnell is having a senior moment.

Recently in the Massachusetts Senate race, age was used as a lighting-rod issue, as 47-year old Republican nominee Gabriel Gomez repeatedly referred to his 66 year-old opponent Ed Markey as "tired," "washed up" and the "poster boy for term limits." But, the strategy backfired and Gomez was soundly defeated.

Now, in a pot- meet- kettle moment, McConnell is going to face a "battle of the ages" of his own as Kentucky's Secretary of State, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, 34, announced her candidacy to challenge his re-election bid. Presumably, one would be safe to assume that McConnell will now flip-flop his rhetoric and make youth a liability and not an asset. It certainly makes you wonder, after offending all constituents, will there be anyone to vote?

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