The Washington Controversy Over Age Limits; Macron Appears Headed to Victory
Author: Greg Valliere
April 21, 2022
THIS COMES AS WASHINGTON ENGAGES in another controversy over the age of many key politicians: Nancy Pelosi is 82, Mitch McConnell is 80, Charles Grassley is 88, etc. And of course it’s possible that Joe Biden, 79, may run against Donald Trump, who turns 76 this spring.
THE NEW CONTROVERSY is a cringe-inducing debate this month about the mental acuity of California Sen. Diane Feinstein, who is 88. Several news outlets have reported that she no longer recognizes close associates, many of whom told the San Francisco Chronicle that her memory appears to be rapidly deteriorating. She has resisted calls to resign.
THIS HAS REVIVED AGE-OLD CONCERNS about elderly politicians. This was a very big issue two decades ago, when Strom Thurmond left the Senate at age 98 and Robert Byrd died in office at age 92. Both were quite clearly suffering from cognitive issues. Many historians believe Ronald Reagan was suffering from early Alzheimers in his last full year as president, when he was 77 years old.
THERE ARE NO MANDATORY RETIREMENT RULES in Congress, unlike in much of corporate America and academia. There’s an age requirement, however, to join the House (25 years old) or the Senate (30 years old). Efforts to set age limits are widely supported by the public but have virtually no chance of passing in Congress.
NOW THERE MAY BE A DEBATE ABOUT SANDERS, the self-proclaimed Socialist who maintains a very loyal following. An internal memo from the Sanders camp, leaked to The Washington Post, says that Sanders “has not ruled out another run for president.” Sanders suffered a moderate heart attack in the fall of 2019.
SANDERS AND HIS ADVISERS insist that he would not run if Biden seeks re-election but it’s worth noting that Biden and Trump have both said recently that their desire for a second term could be thwarted by a health issue. We’re on record as predicting that Biden will not run; he would be 86 at the end of a second term.
* * * * *
THE RELATIVE YOUNGSTER EMMANUEL MACRON, who is only 44, seems to be pulling ahead in his re-election bid this coming Sunday. Polls last night after his debate with Marine Le Pen showed that a majority of viewers gave him positive grades (although they agreed that Macron appeared arrogant).
A MACRON VICTORY would be a relief to NATO members, who worry that Le Pen might begin to move France out of the alliance. A victory by Le Pen would be viewed as a blow to the unified Western stance on Ukraine. And if she wins, it would be a signal to politicians everywhere that inflation and living standards are dominant themes with increasingly restive voters.
The views expressed in this blog are provided as a general source of information based on information available as of the date of publication and should not be considered as personal investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy and/or sell securities. Speculation or stated believes about future events, such as market or economic conditions, company or security performance, or other projections represent the beliefs of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of AGF, its subsidiaries or any of its affiliated companies, funds or investment strategies. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in these commentaries at the time of publication; however, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Market conditions may change and AGF accepts no responsibility for individual investment decisions arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained herein. Any financial projections are based on the opinions of the author and should not be considered as a forecast. The forward looking statements and opinions may be affected by changing economic circumstances and are subject to a number of uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward looking statements. The information contained in this commentary is designed to provide you with general information related to the political and economic environment in the United States. It is not intended to be comprehensive investment advice applicable to the circumstances of the individual.
AGF Investments is a group of wholly owned subsidiaries of AGF Management Limited, a Canadian reporting issuer. The subsidiaries included in AGF Investments are AGF Investments Inc. (AGFI), AGF Investments America Inc. (AGFA), AGF Investments LLC (AGFUS) and AGF International Advisors Company Limited (AGFIA). AGFA and AGFUS are registered advisors in the U.S. AGFI is a registered as a portfolio manager across Canadian securities commissions. AGFIA is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. The subsidiaries that form AGF Investments manage a variety of mandates comprised of equity, fixed income and balanced assets.
About AGF Management Limited
Founded in 1957, AGF Management Limited (AGF) is an independent and globally diverse asset management firm. AGF brings a disciplined approach to delivering excellence in investment management through its fundamental, quantitative, alternative and high-net-worth businesses focused on providing an exceptional client experience. AGF’s suite of investment solutions extends globally to a wide range of clients, from financial advisors and individual investors to institutional investors including pension plans, corporate plans, sovereign wealth funds and endowments and foundations.
For further information, please visit AGF.com.
©2022 AGF Management Limited. All rights reserved.