Obama And The Tweener Generation
By: Mark W Adams

I absolutely agree with Joe Gandelman.
Tom Watson takes a detailed, stand-back-and-analyze look at Barack Obama and where he is in generational and politically symbolic terms.
It’s a fascinating article and a MUST READ. So read it in its ENTIRETY, from beginning to end.
If you, like me, are somewhere between the age of 44 and 48 -- at the tail end of the Baby Boom, too old to ever consider yourself Gen X, but the first Beatles album you bought was their last, Let It Be -- and especially if you are waffling between Hillary and Barack, this article explains a lot that none of your older or younger friends and family will ever really grok.

It won't help you make up your mind, but will help you (and your friends and family) understand why you haven't yet.

In a nutshell, Obama is also a tweener, but he's created a movement deliberately designed to inspire the younger generation to be a part of something greater than themselves, reminding the Boomers above of the promise the movements their generation witnessed and still believe in. He doesn't speak to people his own age, like me, because his campaign isn't designed to reach us misfits.

No seriously, I can't do it justice in any summary or excerpt. Go read all of it.


Ara said...

“What David is basically doing — and this is somewhat new for Democrats — isn’t trying to figure out how to sell policies. It’s a matter of personality. How do we sell leadership?”

It's never about the policies, it's about the emotion and the inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Look, Strauss and Howe date it, Gen X starts in 1960.

Its just that transition from one generation to the next is always a fuzzy boundary, and since the Boomers always have trouble seeing Gen X, they have a doubly hard time seeing the fuzzy leading age.

Of course, in Generations they named Gen X the "Thirteeners" because it was the 13th generation in their account since English settlement of North America ... both Strauss and Howe are Boomers, after all, and that's a typically narcissistic Boomer thing to do, that.

G. A. Roach said...

I think this really comes close to identifying the secret sauce of Obama.
I'm a Gen-X'er and my mother-in-law is a Tweener. We were conversing over dinner Friday and she was clueless as to what a Gen-X'er even was, oblivious.
Obama is in a unique age range and he knows it. That is hugely important.
He respects The Greatest, appeals to Boomers, he is a Tweener, he's been just ahead of us Gen-X'ers(Kobane) and is applying the principle to the MeGen. That is a gawd aweful huge electorate!

Thanks for the bang-up post, Mark!