Monday, May 07, 2007

Obama & Youth

Can't figure out the Obama appeal? May be a generational thing. Maybe you're just too dang old.

For all the talk earlier this year about how Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) broke from the traditional sense of an African-American leader -- no one seemed to point to the simple matter of time. The whole debate may have focused on the wrong demographic: race instead of age.

African-American politicians and leaders have for years been shaped by the Civil Rights movement. Most are veterans of it.

Sen Obama came of age after it.

Later generations view it -- and it's leaders differently. Just as later generations view World War II differently from its veterans.

And just look at the youth appeal. This from Bloomberg:

When John Kerry sought the Democratic nomination in the last presidential election, his biggest Iowa crowd before the state caucuses was about 1,500 people. At a University of Iowa rally last month, Barack Obama drew 10,000 -- many of them students.

The Illinois senator's candidacy has helped spark a surge in campus activism that he has moved quickly to harness, establishing 300 college chapters and working with students to organize many of his largest rallies.

It's an emerging bloc of voters for politicians to energize. More young voters participated in the 2006 elections than in any election since the first time 18 year olds got the vote. And it was the second major election year in a row that saw sizable increases in voters under the age of 25. (Bloomberg)

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