Back in April, I wrote:
I had been thinking that if Obama wins, it will mean that we are done with Baby Boomer Presidents, after having only 2 — young Bush and male Clinton. I thought that was rather pathetic for this big, famous generation of mine.I got a lot of flak in the comments from people who said Obama -- Oboomer -- was a boomer. I was relying on a NYT article, "Shushing the Baby Boomers."
In taking the first steps toward a presidential candidacy last week, Mr. Obama, who was born in 1961 and considers himself a member of the post-boomer generation, said Americans hungered for “a different kind of politics,” one that moved beyond the tired ideological battles of the 1960s....Now, that was written way back in January 2007. We're so much older now! How did that glowing picture of Obama hold up? Speaking of glowing pictures, click through to the Times to see what a caricature of Obama looked like, all those many months ago.
Mr. Obama calculates that Americans of all ages are sick of the feuding boomers and ready to turn to the generation that came of age after Vietnam, after the campus culture wars between freaks and straights, and after young people had given up on what überboomer Hillary Rodham Clinton (who made her own announcement on the Web yesterday) called in a 1969 commencement address a search for “a more immediate, ecstatic and penetrating mode of living.”...
“In the back and forth between Clinton and Gingrich, and in the elections of 2000 and 2004,” he writes, “I sometimes felt as if I were watching the psychodrama of the baby boom generation — a tale rooted in old grudges and revenge plots hatched on a handful of college campuses long ago — played out on the national stage.”
ADDED: The main thing that ought to make you a Boomer is that you were raised by parents who lived through the Depression and WWII. These people thought it was the greatest thing just to have a normal, nice family life. So they had us, and we, who knew nothing but that pleasant life, found it insipid and turned on them, mocked them, and rebelled. Most of us know now what assholes we were to treat them like that, after what they went through, but they made us what we were.
So being a Boomer has to do with who your parents were. Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was born in 1942, so she was more of a Baby Boomer herself, because she was raised by parents who went through the Depression and WWII. She lived through part of WWII herself, but only as a baby. And look how she lived her life. Obama had to build his character in response to that. Now, he did also spend a lot of his formative years living with his grandparents, and that might have produced something of a Boomer personality. But, basically, I'd say Obama is not a Boomer.
By my standard, Sarah Palin is slightly more of a Boomer than Obama, because, although she was born 2 years later, her parents were born earlier, in 1938 and 1940. Still, they mainly grew up in the post-war era, and it was their parents, Palin's grandparents, who had the key experiences that lead a person to place extraordinary value on a normal, ordinary life.