(Warning – pure meta.)
I’m a teacher. I have a special affinity for children, young people, and their vision and influence. I am also an ardent supporter of Barack Obama. I live in Illinois and have watched him for years.
Reading the diaries this morning, I was struck by a particular thought that I haven’t seen discussed: If your own personal children were to join a campaign on the road, which one would you have it be, and why?
I can’t help but imagine Michelle and Barack being very deliberate about what their children would be exposed to on the campaign trail. I think that much of what they personally do is done as a model not only for the country, but for their own children.
I haven’t followed how the Edwards are handling things with their kids. Maybe someone can give some perspective there.
I don’t want to get into a screed about the campaign surrogates. I am mostly interested in the candidates and their respective spouses. I do think that the Clintons are using what they know best – a winning at all costs. Some have no trouble with that and support their candidacy. But what about the effects on children? Do they even have to worry about it – their child is an adult now.
Too melodramatic? Maybe. But I do think young people are watching closely – more so than any time in their lives. All they’ve really known is Bush.
I have two daughters, an eleven-year-old and a seventeen-year-old. My high school senior, who attends a quite conservative public high school in a west suburb of Chicago, says that Obama is a given at her school. Almost to the point where they don’t even have anything to discuss. I find this fascinating. I live in a staunchly red suburb, and the young people are Obama all the way.
My eleven-year-old loves Obama, but I think it’s mostly because mom loves Obama.
So what do you think the effects on the children are of all of this? Having both a woman and a black person as the leading candidates for president – how huge it that? What does it foretell in terms of what they will expect and tolerate in their political future? What are the candidates teaching them - mostly implicitly - about how this should be done?
Maybe kids don’t even pay attention. I don’t know. Just thought it’d be an interesting discussion for parents (or anyone else) to have around here.