Hil­lary, other Demo­crat hope­fuls plagued by thin re­sumes

The Washington Times Weekly - - Front Page - By Don­ald Lam­bro

The 2008 Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial race was off and run­ning as soon as last month’s midterm elec­tions con­cluded, with front-run­ner Sen. Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton fac­ing more op­po­si­tion than she may have ex­pected at this point in the two-year cam­paign cy­cle.

The New York sen­a­tor and for­mer first lady, who eas­ily won a sec­ond term on Nov. 7, is the lead­ing choice of her party in all the polls. But more than half a dozen other can­di­dates are likely to chal­lenge her ex­pected bid for the nom­i­na­tion, in­clud­ing Mas­sachusetts Sen. John Kerry, the party’s 2004 nom­i­nee; Mr. Kerry’s run­ning mate, for­mer Sen. John Ed­wards of North Carolina; and Illi­nois Sen. Barack Obama, the Democrats’ hottest po­lit­i­cal fig­ure, who

about $73 bil­lion if sim­i­lar healthy trends con­tinue, the study found.

“This con­tin­u­ing de­cline in dis­abil­ity among older peo­ple is one of the most en­cour­ag­ing and im­por­tant trends of the ag­ing pop­u­la­tion,” NIA di­rec­tor Dr. Richard Hodes said.

The find­ings were based on an anal­y­sis of the Na­tional Long- Term Care Sur­vey, a pe­ri­odic fed­eral study of about 20,000 peo­ple en­rolled in Medi­care.

Al­though the ini­tial news is good, NIA is adapt­ing some sim­ple but strate­gic new foot­ing to counter the re­al­ity of a bur­geon­ing se­nior pop­u­la­tion: There will be 72 mil­lion peo­ple older than 65 by the year 2030, or one out of ev­ery five Amer­i­cans.

“The chal­lenge now is to see how this trend can be main­tained and ac­cel­er­ated, es­pe­cially in the face of in­creas­ing obe­sity. Do­ing so over the next sev­eral decades will sig­nif­i­cantly lessen the so­ci­etal im­pact of the ag­ing baby boom gen­er­a­tion,” said Richard Sulz­man, di­rec­tor of NIA’s Be­hav­ioral Re­search Pro­gram.

It’s a heavy con­cern: 65 per­cent of the adult pop­u­la­tion is con­sid­ered over­weight, ac­cord­ing to the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion.

The NIA con­tin­ues to track the de­mo­graph­ics, and its find­ings are fol­lowed closely by mar­ket­ing groups and re­searchers seek­ing in­sight on ac­tive ma­ture peo­ple. An NIA anal­y­sis re­leased ear­lier this year found that in the past four decades, the pro­por­tion of peo­ple 65 and older who lived be­low the poverty line de­creased from 35 per­cent to 10 per­cent. By 2020, peo­ple 55 and older are ex­pected to make up more than 20 per­cent of the la­bor force.

Cal­i­for­nia, Florida, New York, Texas, Penn­syl­va­nia, Ohio, Illi­nois, Michi­gan and New Jer­sey con­tinue to be age-heavy states, each with more than 1 mil­lion res­i­dents 65 and older.

The NIA also es­ti­mates that by 2030, 72 per­cent of older Amer­i­cans will be non-His­panic white, 11 per­cent His­panic, 10 per­cent black and 5 per­cent Asian.

Among the find­ings that surely will res­onate with fu­ture po­lit­i­cal ad­vis­ers: “Older peo­ple con­sis­tently vote in higher pro­por­tions than other age groups.” In the 2004 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, the voter turnout rate among the 55-to-74 set was 72 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Cen­sus Bureau.

Sen. Hil­lary Clin­ton

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