Presidents age differently

I remember as a kid how people thought Jimmy Carter aged badly during his administration. I don't know that he aged so bad, as much as his trademark smile was wiped off his face during the Iran Hostage Crisis. Recent thoughts of that made me want to go back and see how other recent presidents looked at the beginning and end of their terms. It does appear that being president ages some men more than others.

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For a list of presidents and their ages upon leaving office, look here.

Carter

Nixon coasted to an historic landslide in 1972, only to resign in disgrace two years later. He was consumed by the scandal and it took a toll on him.

Nixon

Reagan liked to delegate and shun details. Even though he had the Iran Contra scandal, he left the office positive and largely unaffected by the pressures of the office.

Reagan

The elder George Bush (by the way, it’s NOT George Bush Sr and George Bush Jr., as the elder Bush has two middle names) was a career Washington politician. The pressures of office were old hat to him. He left office after 4 years in relatively good physical shape.

Bush 41

Bill Clinton, though always presenting himself as a positive leader, was famous for his micromanagement and quick temper. He also became only the second president to be impeached (history 101 – being “impeached” doesn’t mean being removed from office… it just means impeachment proceedings were brought against him). He also had his girlfriend Monica Lewinsky to deal with and deny. He left office a bit weathered.

Clinton

George W. Bush had 9/11 and two wars to wage, not to mention the wars he had to wage at home against an army of detractors. He looks 20 years older in his last year in office than he did in his first.

Bush 43

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16 Comments on Presidents age differently

  1. Bianca Patrick // July 3, 2008 at 7:33 am // Reply

    GWB deserves it. It must be trying to be loathed, abhorred, detested, despised, abominated by 70% of the people in your country and 90% of the people in the world. He can run but he can’t hide.

  2. I suppose that would age anyone. Imagine how 8 rough years would look on McCain?? ;-)

  3. Nasty and unnecessary, Bianca, but not very enlightening. Exactly who “deserves” it and why? And who decides? And do persons not have at the very least an obligation to give detailed reasons if they lauch an attach upon another human being?
    A lot of great figures in history were not popular in their own time. Just a fact. If you don’t like someone, please give a solid reason based on facts and logic. Else, please don’t bother imposing any more unsubstantiated ugliness on the rest of humanity.
    Please.

  4. (A little late, but then I just found this. :) )

    Of course he deserves it, Taylor. People responsible for war and death on such a mass scale deserve it. Who says? I did, just now. I don’t need stacks of facts to have an emotional reaction. I will feel what I please and I dare you to stop me. I learned this from our glorious leader.

    Why don’t you think before you condescend to people for thinking what they do. Having an opposing opinion is neither inherently wrong or requiring of research. Stop being a dick, Taylor. And quit trying (trying) to dictate what people may say. Hint: You are as insignificant as everyone else. Else, you will continue to present as a weak and silly person unable to face the reality of differing opinions.

    Please.

  5. I noticed this trend exactly where you begin… with Mr. Gerald Ford. In 1980 a news sender broadcast his pictures through the years in office and one thing became VERY obvious. The grin, for which he was so well known early on, became flatter and weaker with every year. You show the near grimace it became in the end. Since Kennedy, the president has been in my opinion nothing more than the scapegoat of a disenchanted public and press. I pity Barack already. He has so much energy and enthusiasm. One sees on his face how this is a dream come true for him. I don’t think anyone realizes just what this office entails.

  6. Although I have never wanted GWB as President, somehow my heart just goes out to him by seeing how much he has aged. I’ve been wondering lately what type of person does it take to want a job like “THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES” Talk about STRESS!!! Those years must have been hell for him; and you know, it’s weird. I feel bad for the guy.

  7. Perhaps Bianca’s comments were unnecessary, but she seems to have a better idea of what history will say of Bush than Taylor. George W. Bush has killed a million Iraqis and he knowingly lied to the world to start this war. If that ain’t evil, then the word evil has no meaning.

  8. Taylor,

    You obviously have no clue the terrible things (far too many to name here) that GWB has done to not only our country but preindustrial nations. Grab yourself a book and learn a little bit about GWB.

  9. Poor W. Bush. Obama will face all the stress of politics. Bush did everything he could.

  10. I agree with you all.

  11. Like Ramira says “I don’t need stacks of facts to have an emotional reaction.” Perfect! Don’t consider the FACTS but let your intentionally misdirected (by others) “feelings” direct your response. That’s the problem with our country now.

  12. bush deserved to age horribly because he “started” a war? come on. are you serious? this is what infuriates me about liberals- you feel so much compassion for terrorists but not for helpless aborted babies or for the hundreds we lost on 9/11? …walking contradictions…
    (and, for the record, i am not a republican- just a person with a conscience)

  13. [email protected] – I invite anyone who wants to to email me here.

    @dani: Wow. Great speech there. THAT’S why there’s so much hate in this world. These aren’t just “terrorists”. These include Iraqi children. You talk about aborted babies, but you contradict yourself greatly.

    I’m Liberal, yes, but I agree to the war. Not because I believe Bush or Harper (Canadian PM), but because despite I truly believe sometimes, war is the only way to solve a problem. (btw, if anyone emails me DON’T talk about this. I respect your views. Respect mines – because they will NOT change). HOWEVER, those who actually believe GWB and his reasons are lying to themselves. I personally can’t stand how children and woman are killed but republicans still call this a “great war”. War is never great, it’s never good, but in the world of grey, we have to choose the lighter shade. The deaths caused by the war is a light price to pay, in my opinion, compared to the heavy years of corruption that may have continued if the Iraqi government had stayed in.

    Anyways, a person “with a conscience”? Conscience is totally decided on what the person him/herself believes. Hitler probably thought he had a conscience and was actually helping his people when he killed millions of Jewish and Slavs.

    ANYWAYS; back to main topic. Poor Bush. ): The Presidential throne isn’t a good place to be, in my opinion. Nobody is perfect, but we all expect the President to be. GWB passed a lot of laws I can’t stand (um, actually, ironically, the “partial-birth-abortion” ban thing was one of those) but on the other hand he really did do his best. Those who do bad things are not necessarily evil, since “bad things” are our own definition. It’s only evil when you do “bad things” on purpose and enjoy it.

    My two cents<3 Don’t flame me. D; I’m giving out a pretty private email here.

  14. Obama also looks much older now than he did just four years ago. This is the first full-time job he has ever had, so he must be exhausted.

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