Presidential Patterns in Citizenship, Courtship and Age
There’s been a flurry of misinformation tossed about in the media lately, which attempts to position Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich outside the parameters of “presidentiality.” These comments have ranged from mentions of the fact that Elizabeth is a British citizen, to their short courtship, to the age difference between her and Dennis. And, recently, when Hannah Storm interviewed Dennis and Elizabeth on NBC’s The Early Show, she erroneously said to Elizabeth, “You would be the first, First Lady at such a young age.” This is quite simply, not true.
So here are some actual facts that show how “in step” Dennis and Elizabeth are with other presidential couples.
Youthful First Ladies
Elizabeth Kucinich, at the time of the January, 2009, inauguration, will be just 31 years old, but this would certainly not make her the youngest First Lady. This is exactly the same age that Jacqueline Kennedy (b. July 28, 1929) was at her husband’s inauguration on January 20, 1961.
But two other First Ladies were younger than Elizabeth and Jacqueline.
Julia Gardiner Tyler (b. May 4, 1820) became First Lady at age 24. She married President John Tyler (b. March 29, 1790) on June 26, 1844. He was the first president to marry in office. (His first wife died earlier in his term.)
The Tylers had a 30-year difference in their ages, just slightly less than Dennis and Elizabeth’s 31-year age difference.