Biden Will Be the Oldest President to Take the Oath


When Joseph R. Biden Jr. takes the oath of workplace on Wednesday, he would be the oldest particular person ever sworn in as president. Mr. Biden turned 78 in November.

Through the marketing campaign, Mr. Biden addressed his age head-on in interviews and offered himself as a “transition candidate” who would assist nurture new Democratic expertise.

“It’s a legit query to ask about my age,” Mr. Biden said on “The View,” including, “Hopefully, I can display not solely with age has come knowledge and expertise that may make issues so much higher.”

Mr. Biden leveraged his age as a energy within the election and campaigned on two key messages, in keeping with one historic knowledgeable.

“The primary one: ‘I’m not him,’ that means Trump,” Jeffrey A. Engel, director of the Middle for Presidential Historical past at Southern Methodist College in Dallas, stated on Wednesday. “The second was, ‘I’m an grownup and I’ll convey again normalcy and I’ll convey again a way of decency and display maturity.’”

Here’s a take a look at a number of the oldest and youngest presidents to take workplace.

Till Mr. Biden is sworn in on Wednesday, President Trump holds the report for the nation’s oldest chief government. He was 70 in January 2017, when he grew to become the forty fifth president.

Earlier than him, President Ronald Reagan was the oldest president. He was 69 in 1981 when he was inaugurated for his first time period.

In a debate with Walter Mondale throughout his 1984 re-election marketing campaign, Mr. Reagan made gentle of the problem of age.

“I would like you to know that additionally I cannot make age a difficulty of this marketing campaign,” he said. “I’m not going to use for political functions my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

Mr. Reagan was 77 after his second time period, the oldest president to go away workplace.

Greater than a century earlier than him, William Henry Harrison held the excellence of being the oldest president on the time, when he was inaugurated in 1841 at age 68. Mr. Harrison, who had caught a chilly that developed into pneumonia, died after 32 days in office. He grew to become the primary president to die in workplace and to this point, has served the shortest tenure in U.S. presidential historical past.

At 96, Jimmy Carter is the oldest residing former president.

Many individuals might imagine John F. Kennedy, who was inaugurated in 1961 at age 43, was the youngest president. However that distinction belongs to Theodore Roosevelt, who was 42 in September 1901, when he assumed the presidency after the assassination of William McKinley.

“I don’t suppose most Individuals have ever seen a shifting image of Teddy Roosevelt and never, actually, whereas he was president,” Professor Engel stated, explaining why folks might consider Kennedy because the youngest American president. “They don’t have a psychological picture of a younger man within the White Home at that age, whereas John F. Kennedy was all in regards to the picture and shifting photographs.”

Different youthful presidents embody Ulysses S. Grant, who was 46 when he took workplace in 1869; Invoice Clinton, who was additionally 46 at his first inauguration, in 1993; and Barack Obama, who was 47 at his first inauguration in 2009. Three of the 5 youngest presidents have been Democrats; Roosevelt and Grant have been Republicans.

As dictated by the United States Constitution, the president should be a natural-born citizen of the US, not less than 35 years outdated and a resident of 14 years.

The Presidential Inauguration ›

Solutions to your questions on Inauguration Day:

Joseph R. Biden Jr. will grow to be president of the US at midday on Jan. 20 in a scaled-back inauguration ceremony. Whereas key parts will stay conventional, many occasions will be downsized and “reimagined” to higher adapt the celebration to a nation battling the coronavirus. Mr. Biden might be sworn in by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on the Capitol’s West Front someday earlier than midday. The brand new president is then anticipated give his inaugural tackle and conduct a assessment of army troops, as is custom. However as an alternative of a traditional parade before cheering spectators alongside Pennsylvania Avenue as the brand new president, vice chairman and their households make their method to the White Home over a mile away, there might be an official escort with representatives from each department of the army for one metropolis block.

President Trump introduced Friday that he would not attend Mr. Biden’s inauguration. Mr. Biden known as that call “one of many few issues he and I’ve ever agreed on. Nonetheless, it’s a main break with custom for a president to skip the ceremonial coronary heart of the nation’s democracy: the peaceable switch of energy.

George W. Bush, has confirmed he would travel to Washington for Inauguration Day, together with Laura Bush, the previous first girl. Barack Obama and Invoice Clinton are additionally expected to attend, together with former first women Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton. This 12 months, tickets are not available to members of the general public. Planners are urging folks to stay home and take part in digital inaugural occasions to forestall massive crowds that might simply unfold the coronavirus. Occasions might be live streamed by the Presidential Inaugural Committee and by The New York Instances.

The twentieth Modification to the Structure requires that the time period of every elected president and vice chairman start at noon Jan. 20 of the 12 months after the election. Every president has taken the oath of workplace, and so they can not assume their positions with out doing so. Symbolically, it marks the peaceable switch of energy from the present president to the subsequent. Inauguration Day might be all of the extra necessary this 12 months, as Mr. Biden ascends to the presidency at a time when political division has threatened the nation’s democratic institutions and his predecessor has gone to excessive lengths to remain in energy.

The {qualifications} for president haven’t modified since George Washington first took workplace at 57 in 1789, in keeping with the Library of Congress. He was sworn in on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York Metropolis, then the capital of the US.

A 2011 JAMA article on presidential growing old, which didn’t embody Mr. Trump, noticed that the typical age of a U.S. president at inauguration was 55.1 years.

An analogous rating discovered that on common, presidents are sworn in at 55, in keeping with potus.com, a mission created by Bob Summers in 1996 as a part of a graduate college mission on the College of Michigan Faculty of Data.

“Most people that grow to be president often have to construct a physique of labor to show to voters what they stand for and the way they are going to get issues achieved,” Mr. Summers stated.

“That often precludes a lot youthful presidents,” he added. “And with the shorter life expectations within the early days of the U.S., there weren’t as many individuals who would run as older candidates.”

There have been two father-and-son units of presidents, and each have been comparable in age after they every first took workplace.

John Adams was 61 when he grew to become the second president, in 1797. His son John Quincy Adams was sworn in because the sixth president at 57 in 1825.

George Bush was 64 at his inauguration in 1989. Twelve years later, he watched his eldest son, George W. Bush, inaugurated at 54.

Alain Delaquérière contributed analysis.



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