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Apr 09, 2010


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Allan R. Bevere

That's a quote of the day! I'm going to post it on my blog!


Of course neither Pelosi, Reid, nor Obama are Boomers. Using the Strauss and Howe designations Pelosi and Reid at age 70 are "Silents" and Obama with a 1961 birthday is a 1st wave "13er/Xer." And Rahm Emanuel with a late 1959 birthday is only a last minute boomer.

Allan R. Bevere


As one who is the same age as Barack Obama, he may officially be a first wave GenXer, but he has all the characteristics of a Boomer.

Michael W. Kruse

Also, Strauss and Howe note that each generation is often deeply influenced by trailing edge folks from the previous generation. Lennon and McCartney were Silents setting up Boomers and Madonna a Boomer setting up GenX with in the music field. I think it still generally fits the motif.

Allan R. Bevere

I agree, Michael. That's why I mentioned the fact that the president and I are the same age. I may officially be an old Gen-Xer, but there is no doubt that I carry many Boomer characteristics.

Gen X-ers are supposed to be disillusioned with the abilities of institutions. Barack Obama is clearly not disillusioned with the abilities of government. That is one place where I am NOT a Boomer.

Michael W. Kruse

I'm just two years older than you are. Sounds like we have very similar views.

I do think Obama differs from Boomers in at least one important way. George Will wrote a column last month comparing Obama to Woodrow Wilson. He includes this quote from Obama in a Katie Couric interview:

"I would have loved nothing better than to simply come up with some very elegant, academically approved approach to health care, and didn't have any kinds of legislative fingerprints on it, and just go ahead and have that passed. But that's not how it works in our democracy. Unfortunately, what we end up having to do is to do a lot of negotiations with a lot of different people."

Then Will later writes:

"So note also Obama's yearning for something "academically approved" rather than something resulting from "a lot of negotiations with a lot of different people," a.k.a. politics. Here, too, Obama is in the spirit of the U.S. president who first was president of the American Political Science Association."

While Boomers relish the "take no prisoners" political battles, I think Obama believes he should be able to be above them. He seems to resent the fact that wide majorities just can't see the elegance of his proposals and embrace them, and that he must be dragged into political battles. Sarah Palin makes a snarky comment about him and he just can't refrain from making snarky comments back and instead acting presidential. That just feeds the energy for more snarkiness.

While I think Obama is contributing to the political rancor I think it is coming from a different place than for the "take to the streets" Boomers.

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