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Too Young for the Presidency?

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South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg looks on as Senator Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden talk during a break in the U.S. Democratic presidential candidates debate at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. November 20, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

To balance their four leading contenders over 70—Sanders, Bloomberg, Biden and Warren—the Democrats also offer 37-year-old Pete Buttigieg. He’d be by far the youngest chief executive in our history, easily beating 41-year-old Theodore Roosevelt and 43-year-old John Kennedy.

Mayor Pete’s defenders note that both TR and JFK used their youthful vigor to become successful presidents, but Buttigieg can’t compare to them in leadership experience. He’s won two terms as a small city Mayor, while Roosevelt was State Assembly minority leader, New York’s Police Commissioner, Assistant Navy Secretary, Governor of New York and Vice President. JFK served two terms in the House and two in the Senate, while writing a Pulitzer Prize-winning history book.  Both TR and JFK also inspired adulation as valiant battlefield heroes, while Mayor Pete’s honorable military service proved blessedly uneventful.

The young candidate’s limited life experience raises inevitable questions about his preparation for the presidency.

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