Out of Scope

Preview image
Written by

Hirsch Leatherwood

Out of Scope

Old Timers

Plus: Penn’s AI degree and NCAA history

Banner Image: Chris Kelponis / Getty Images

Happy Friday! This week, we examine advanced age’s role in presidential election anticipation and conversation. But first…


  • The University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science has introduced its Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.) in Artificial Intelligence degree. The program is the first of its kind among Ivy League universities. 

  • If you hadn’t heard of Temu before the big game, it was inescapable on Super Bowl Sunday. With its pithy ad slogan “Shop Like a Billionaire” that aired three (!) times to a whopping tune of $21 million, the Chinese e-commerce retailer solidified itself as a potential competitor to Amazon's digital presence and market.

  • This week’s new Census of Agriculture reveals the quantity of American farms and farmers is declining, while big factory farms with massive emissions continue to grow. Pushes for “climate-smart agriculture” raise concerns that government policy aimed at bolstering farmers’ success will only further fund major polluters and neglect smaller, greener farms.

💡ON OUR MINDS: Old-Timers

  • While we saw one old favorite return to the helm this week (Welcome back, Jon Stewart!), Americans have grown increasingly concerned about another old-timer holding onto power elsewhere. The discourse around President Biden’s age and capability to lead has reached a fever pitch.

  • In a report this week, Special Counsel Robert Hur referred to the President as "a well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory," and the White House’s communications team went into crisis PR mode, widely deploying surrogates to praise his mental acuity.

  • In his return to The Daily Show, Jon Stewart criticized the tactic, questioning why the White House is limiting his public appearances (including declining the traditional softball pre-game interview before the Super Bowl) if he is so sharp in conversation.

  • Of course, it’s been documented that rival candidate President Trump isn’t particularly eloquent himself. He recently confused Nikki Haley with Nancy Pelosi. But Trump, who would also serve into his 80s if reelected, hasn’t received nearly as much criticism for his memory as his counterpart.

  • The advanced age of either candidate has taken root in the electorate as an unavoidable cause for concern. Once again, this serves as our quadrennial reminder that persona, not policy, is how these races are won.


In case you missed these reads.

Thanks for reading,


This week’s newsletter is brought to you by Bennifer, brought to you by, well, Bennifer.