Octogenarian launches comeback for House: ‘I took on Richard Nixon, and I can take on Donald Trump’

Former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman, 80, has announced her desire to join D.C.’s ever-growing octogenarian club in a run to represent New York’s new 10th Congressional District and “take on Donald Trump.”

“Why am I running?” the one-time foe of President Richard Nixon asked at a candidate forum this week. “I’m running because these are very dark times.”

“I took on Richard Nixon, and I can take on Donald Trump,” Holtzman proclaimed.

If successful, Holtzman should fit right in with her aging Democratic colleagues in Congress.

In 1974, as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, it was Holtzman who recommended that Nixon should face articles of impeachment.

Holtzman became the youngest woman elected to Congress in 1972, when she managed to upset the man who had represented Brooklyn for five decades, then-House Judiciary Committee chairman, Rep. Emanuel Celler, in the Democratic primaries, the Washington Examiner reports.

She was narrowly defeated by Republican Al D’Amato in 1980 and went on to serve as Brooklyn’s district attorney and city comptroller.

Though clearly a powerhouse back in the day, the notion that an 80-year-old would even run for a Congressional seat is concerning, given that the nation’s current leaders are already getting way up there in age and, increasingly, it is showing.


As previously reported in American Wire, many political pundits are calling for a meaningful conversation about age limits for politicians amid alarming reports that Sen. Diane Feinstein, 88, is noticeably suffering from cognitive decline and an almost daily parade of embarrassing gaffes and outbursts from our 79-year-old President Joe Biden.

“Does it shock anyone, really, to learn that 88-year-old veteran US Sen. Diane Feinstein is exhibiting signs of dementia?” asked journalist Maureen Callahan in an April op-ed piece for the New York Times.

“A YouGov poll from January shows that 58% of Americans want an age limit for elected officials — forcible retirement at age 70,” Callahan continued. “If something like that passed now, 71% of U.S. Senators would be out of a job.”

“Pelosi, Grassley and Shelby are fast approaching age 90,” she stated. “It’s not healthy — nor fair to the generations behind them — for the nation to remain in these arthritic clutches.”

The district for which Holtzman is vying will, come January 2023, encompass all of lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, the Examiner reports. Former New York mayor Bill de Blasio and Rep. Mondaire Jones of New York’s 17th District are also running.

Should she win, Holtzman will return to Capitol Hill after a 42-year gap, the longest in House history.

Online, many would prefer the coveted seat to go to someone with fresher blood.

“No. Retire,” posted one Twitter user. “We have too many octogenarians in Congress.”

“Is there nobody under 80 qualified in the state?” asked another. “Asking for several million friends.”

“Much of what passes as a Democratic establishment is far, far too old and works as an impediment to a whole crew of younger Dems who ought to be emerging right now, but aren’t,” tweeted a third.

For yet another user, there simply isn’t room in D.C. for yet another 80-something.

“Congress is already a Nursing Home,” the user stated, “so one more is one too many.”


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