I was very young when he was elected (and found the 3rd party candidate at the time more interesting… but at 8 yrs old, I only knew bits and pieces).
But I grew up during his presidency and his age would come up now and again, especially in the last few years of his presidency. [he served two terms – 8 years]
Reagan was always prepared and also a quick thinker. In both 1980 and in 1984, the interviewers attempted to bring up age during debates. But he was ready.
Here he is in 1984, by then 74 years old.
Jimmy Carter, who was President from 1976-1980, was doomed in the 1980 election. His hands were tied because of deals made during Nixon’s term (a President who was impeached and his Vice President who finished his term, Gerald Ford, was also inadequately prepared to handle Nixon’s wide foreign policy changes as was Jimmy Carter after him).
So here was 7 years and two Presidents who couldn’t do much to fix a worldwide inflation problem.
Jimmy Carter won in 1976 by calling Ford a failure.
Ronald Reagan won in 1980 by calling Jimmy Carter a failure.
The thing is: Jimmy Carter did a *lot* of good during his Presidency. A lot of the good things he did America is still benefitting from today.
But Reagan was skillful. He had practice. He ran for President several times before and failed and had learned from his mistakes.
Mostly though, he won with his charm.
The sad thing about Trump is that he *can* be charming. But he has too much of the “devil in his eye” and people who are used to dealing with sales people pick up on that, making him untrustworthy to them.
He *may* win over America (and the world) yet, but he’s not going to have an easy time of it.