United Press International brought up an interesting point recently on its Web site. If Barak Obama were to be elected U.S. president come November, then “For the first time in 16 years, the United States will not be ruled by a post-World War II early ‘baby boom’ generation president born in the mid-1940s.”
O.K. – so what?
Well, if past U.S. presidents over the last 14 to 15 years are any indication as to how Americans have been voting, Obama will be a far cry from “the self-indulgent, publicly emotional excesses and extreme certainties of his two predecessors, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush,” according to the Web site.
Having been born in 1961, Obama can still be classified as boomer generation at age 46 — however, the Web site contests, Obama “shows many of the traits of the so-called Generation X cohort from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s that followed the boomers. The Gen X-ers were raised in the boomers’ shadow and generally resented them even while echoing many of their most selfish and self-obsessed preferences, public policies and personal consumer spending habits. Obama owes his success in large part to his appeal both to idealistic aging boomers and to young millennial generation Americans in their 20s.”
Challenger McCain is just the opposite — at age 71, “McCain belongs to the 20-year generational cohort of Americans named by Thomas Straus and Neil Howe in their classic sociological history of the American people, “Generations,” as “Silents.” For all their cultural achievements, they were not remotely as politically successful and organized as the famous ‘G.I.’ generation that preceded them or the baby boomers who followed them.”
Either way, it will be interesting to see how this age spectrum will factor into the presidential race.