Friday, February 22, 2008

Because They're Young

Obama, they say, gets young voters excited. I can understand why. They've never seen anyone like him, since a politician such as Obama only comes along about one every decade. Maybe twice.


Blogger New England Guy said...

John Anderson, Gary Hart, Howard Dean- and to a lesser extent Paul Tsongas and even McCain in 2000, tapped into this market though while achieving some significant support, none were successful in getting nominated.

I was too young to have reliable memories of McGovern in 72, but I somehow think that was a little different- the youth was part of a relatively larger wave (which got swamped by a comparative tsunami in the general).

So far it seems that Obama's appeal is part of a larger wave too but, at least if you believe the polls, much more centrist in support.

6:17 AM, February 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

New England Guy, you're leaving out Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, guys who seemed to come from nowhere and give America a new sense of hope at the time.

8:37 AM, February 22, 2008  
Blogger New England Guy said...

I wouldn't call either Clinton (who was the DLC establishment candidate in the 92 primaries)or Carter candidates who were primarily energized by the young vote. True they both Democrats who came after a long Republican period in the presidency so maybe some of that feeling came out in the general election but they represented more a change in party than change in approach to so-called "old politics"

9:05 AM, February 22, 2008  
Anonymous Lawrence King said...

I think there is a separate question of whether a candidate's actual youth is an appeal.

Teddy Roosevelt, JFK, and Clinton certainly had this. JFK was touted as the "first president born in the 20th century", while Clinton was the "first baby boomer president". Clinton playing saxophone on Arsenio Hall's show was supposed to show he was a "young and new guy".

Of course, this is even more pronounced when a young president follows an old one (Ike-JFK and GHWB-Clinton).

This is, as far as I can tell, not a huge portion of Obama's appeal to the young. But it's part of it, and will be more prounounced when he faces McCain, who is thirty years older tham him.

4:35 PM, February 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thirty years older than Barack? McCain is old enough without making him 76.

4:55 PM, February 22, 2008  

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