Leading While Old

Nancy Pelosi held a press conference yesterday. She used it to announce that she is running for re-election as House Minority Leader. The first question came from the Luke Russert, son of the late Tim Russert his mother is Maureen Orth, a special correspondent for Vanity Fair. :

From the Wiki…

Luke Russert graduated from St. Albans School in Washington, D.C. in 2004.[2] He worked for ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption[3] while a student at Boston College, where he graduated in 2008.[4] A few weeks later, his father died.

Russert co-hosted the sports talk program called 60/20 Sports on XM Satellite Radio with James Carville. NBC News then hired Russert as a correspondent covering youth issues as part of its coverage of the 2008 presidential election. He was assigned to cover both the Democratic and Republican conventions.[6][7] Since May 2009, he has worked for NBC News on Capitol Hill as a congressional correspondent covering the House of Representatives.

Here is what Luke Russert wanted to know…

“Your colleagues privately say that your decision to stay on prohibits the party from having a younger leadership,” Russert told Pelosi in a room packed with reporters. “What’s your response?”

Shorter Russert: Hey Lady— You’re really old!!!!!!!!!!!

The reaction…

A group of female lawmakers standing behind the Democratic leader immediately began to boo and heckle Russert. One woman shouted “discrimination” at him several times.

Then Pelosi brought the heat…

Oh, you’ve always asked that question,” Pelosi sarcastically said to Russert, after a pause. “Except to Mitch McConnell.” McConnell, who is the minority leader of the Senate, is 70 years old. Pelosi is 72 years old.

By the way, Harry Reid is 72 years old— no one asks him if he should step aside.

Here is the take home message. Ageism falls most heavily on women and Pelosi was right to EXPOSE the prejudice that inspired Russert’s question. In fact, she has set a good example for all of us. Rather than ducking the issue– she exposed the ageism— that is something we all can and should be able to do.

Article written by

Bill is a visionary leader in the online Changing Aging movement and a world-renowned authority on geriatric medicine and eldercare. Bill is founder of two movements to reshape long-term care globally – The Eden Alternative and Green House Project.

13 Responses

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  1. Cathy Lieblich
    Cathy Lieblich at | | Reply

    Right on, Bill! Yay for Nancy Pelosi!

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