All-Star Panelist Roger Simon on Presidential Candidates: ‘Is 80 the New 45?’

Mar 23, 2023

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Roger Simon in studio to discuss the average age of presidential candidates and the genius of Vivek Ramaswamy.

Leahy: We are delighted to welcome to our studio, my very good friend, my former boss at PJ TV, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, excellent writer, novelist, mystery writer, and depending on the day, the most popular columnist at The Epoch Times, Mr. Roger Simon.

Simon: I’m happy to be here.

Leahy: I’m delighted to have you here. You’re just finishing up your book, American Refugee, and then you’re starting a new book, The Making of the President 2024.

Simon: Here I go again. (Chuckles)

Leahy: Here you go again. One thing I noticed of course, it’s a modern version of the classic The Making of the President 1960 by Theodore White. This is interesting, Roger to notice the difference in this country over the past 64 years since Kennedy, the Democrat nominee who won in 1960 was 43 years old. Nixon, the GOP nominee, was 47. Their average age was 45. This time around it looks like…

Simon: They’re 106.

Leahy: Yes, this time around, Trump is going to be 78 if he gets the nomination, which it looks like he will at this moment in time. And Biden, if he chooses to run, will be 82. The average age will be 80. What does that say about our country?

Simon: 80 is the new 45? (Leahy laughs) I don’t think so.

Leahy: That’s a great line.

Simon: I would say part of it is you better have a vice presidential candidate who looks capable of taking over. I don’t think Kamala is, Miss Giggler. I think the guy I was traveling around with the last few days in South Carolina is the best possible vice president.

Leahy: He’s 37 years old. He’s our buddy, Vivek Ramaswamy. Tell us how this came about. You’re writing this book about The Making of the President 2024. How did you come to be spending the weekend driving around South Carolina in the same car with Vivek Ramaswamy, the presidential candidate?

Simon: Part of it’s thanks to you, and I tipped the hat. It’s not on now cause of airphones, but I usually wear a hat, and I tip the hat to you because you put me in first contact with him. And then I wrote some things about him and quoted him in The Epoch Times.

I think they liked it. And then is publicist, a bright woman named Trisha McLaughlin, sent me his schedule. He was gonna be in South Carolina, and do you want to come down? And I said, sure. The Epoch Times sent me down there, and that’s what happened.

Leahy: Tell us how the weekend went.

Simon: I ended up sitting in the s u v with him for almost two days.

Leahy: So who’s driving?

Simon: A driver and there were about four people in the car. I got to say, I’ve met a lot of politicians in my life or semi, he’s not really a politician yet, which is probably good, but from Teddy Kennedy onwards. And this is the highest IQ I’ve run into period.

Leahy: Of any political candidate.

Simon: Going away. There’s no question. This is a guy, as I wrote in The Epoch Times, I was sitting next to him while on his laptop as the car was driving, he was writing an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal all about his criticisms of the Federal Reserve.

At the same time, he is talking to someone on the phone and to the four of us in the car about all different matters and did it in five minutes. Now I’m a fast writer. And then he read the thing back to us and it was superb. There aren’t too many people who can do that on planet Earth. And also, his wife is equally brilliant.

Leahy: She’s a medical doctor, surgeon.

Simon: Yes. A laryngologist. It’s a hard word to pronounce, coming from the throat, which it does. And she’s one of the world’s experts in swallow problems. And a very attractive couple with kids that are eight months and three years.

Leahy: We’ve got a 37-year-old multimillionaire entrepreneur.

Simon: From biotech research into Alzheimer’s, among other things.

Leahy: He is a very intelligent and honest guy. No blemishes on his record that we know of. And very personable. And, speaking personally, because I’m a tennis nut, as and it’s probably in some of the audience, you know, he’s also an avid tennis player. And I found out subsequently because I said, hey, let’s play. And we were joking about it that he was number one in Ohio in the juniors. (Chuckles) 

Leahy: That’s pretty good.

Simon: As well as valedictorian.

Leahy: But wait, there’s more!

Simon: I don’t know what could be more. He is also a bestselling author.

Leahy: He also plays the piano. He’s a classical pianist. How about that? (Chuckles) He’s a pretty good guy.

Simon: Yes.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Joe Biden” by Joe Biden.