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Obama's Boomer Problem
They Just Realized He's Younger Than They Are
Richieville News Service - BERKELEY, CA
The campaign of Senator Barack Obama, having only just secured the Democratic presidential nomination, suffered an unexpected setback today when millions of baby boomers simultaneously came to the same frightening realization – the next president of the United States might be younger than they are. This historic possibility threatens to erode the Democrat's support among a demographic seen as crucial to his victory in November - members of the 60's generation who refuse to come to grips with their age.
The reaction of Bernie Schwartz, U of C Berkeley class of '68, was typical. "I was all for the first woman president, " he said, as he listened to the local NPR station on the radio of his Volvo wagon. "And the first black man? Far out! But younger than me? That's too much change. Are you sure?"
At age 46, Senator Obama is indeed younger than members of the baby boom generation, born in the years following World War II. Having come of age protesting older authority figures, these former flower children now face the terrifying prospect of being older than those in authority.
"I just don't understand it," said Alison Johnston, 56, sobbing quietly into her latte at the Starbuck's across the street from her yoga class. Ms. Johnston was at Woodstock in 1969 when Senator Obama was seven years old. "The president is like, old, right? So if he's old and he's younger than me, that means I must be...," Her voice trailed off, seemingly incapable of finishing the sentence.
Other boomers, like Russell Keller, 59, tried to take a more defiant attitude. "So Obama is 46," he said, while handing the keys to his Prius to his 19-year-old son Free, a freshman at U of C Berkeley. "I'm still as young as I was when I protested Richard Nixon." When told that when he took office in 1969, Richard Nixon was 56 years old, Mr. Keller could only stare off into the middle distance. "I should have voted for Hillary," he remarked bitterly. "At least she's 60."
Strategists for Senator McCain's campaign were quick to seize on Mr. Obama's perceived weakness with ex-hippies and former acid heads. They believe the Republican's age, once seen as a liability, might become a selling point with liberals in mourning for their lost youth.
"We're telling these former summer of love, bra burning, pot smoking long hairs that John McCain represents their last chance to feel like angry teenagers," said senior McCain advisor Charlie Black. "Electing McCain guarantees them at least four more years before they have to face their own mortality. Let's see Obama top that!"
For its part, the Obama campaign was not taking this new development lightly. "All you old folks are voting for McCain," said David Axelrod, the 53-year-old Obama advisor. "All us cool young people are voting for Barack Obama. If you want to be a cool young person, and I mean, really, really, really young, then vote for Barack Obama!