More evidence that Obama is Generation X

From an article by Joe Klein in the recent issue of Time Magazine.

Way back during the Dem. primary Obama was often decried for his coolness and intellectuality. He was said to be too remote, among other things. It seems to me this complaint came mainly from an older generation of critics, i.e. Boomers and Silents etc. But I don’t think Obama’s demeanor ever really bothered GenXers. Why should it? We got it. In part, it was what we liked about him. In many respects, his demeanor relfected our own, or perhaps at least what we wished ours could be. And while so many, mainly Boomers I’m guessing, kept insisting that he needed to be warmer, GenXers (I did anway) cringed at this notion. Why does he need to be warmer? He’s running for president not Mr. Fluffy of America.


…Obama stubbornly remained himself through the tough times; his preternatural calm has proved reassuring in both the economic crisis and the first debate.

More to the point of Obama’s GenXness, Klein writes:

He is friendly, informal, accessible … and a mystery, hard to get to know. He doesn’t give away much, doesn’t — unlike Bill Clinton — have that desperate need to make you like him.

I think I can safely argue that GenXers, in general, don’t much give a crap about being liked, especially by self-egrandizing Boomers. However, we do expect credit where credit is due, and respect when it is warranted. Not to mention a little defernce now and then. And please without any of the, oh, so typical Boomer qualifies that turn a compliment into a self-congratulatory ego inflation delivery system. But I won’t suppose that we’re about to hold our collective breath either.

Boomers are what they are; are the way they are. But one thing they won’t be, for once, is in charge.


6 responses to “More evidence that Obama is Generation X

  1. No. I don’t think I will back off! Why dont you get bent!

    There’s a more to being an GenXer than just the year you were born. If you are going to cling to that notion, then you’d have to accept that fact that Obama is considered a member of Generation Jones. But as self-egrandizing Boomer I doubt you’re capable of that. But then, I don’t accept it either. And why?

    Because Obama is a GenXer.

    I mean, I get it. You’re an aging Boomer that doesn’t want to accept the fact the your time, as a generation, is slowly coming to close. So you’re clinging desperately to anything you can to remain relevant. Well, you can’t. Not this time. You can whine all you want — you Boomer’s are after all.

    You had your Presidents. First Clinton and then Bush. Now it is someone else’s turn. It is our turn, GenX’s turn.

    Obama is Generation X. Deal with it. And, oh yeah, get bent again!

  2. “There’s a more to being an GenXer than just the year you were born”, you say. Uh, no, actually birth year is exactly what determines which generation you’re a part of, and yes, you’re right…that makes Obama part of Generation Jones. If what you’re alluding to is some sort of GenX state of mind, sure…OK, I suppose it’s true that anyone of any age could have a certain set of attitudes, etc., but an 85 year old that gets multiple piercings and tattos (if you’ll indulge that stereotype as an example) still isn’t a member of GenX. You’d be hard pressed to find any generation expert anywhere who would agree that membership in a generation is based on anything other than birth year.

    And I feel confused about your claim of more evidence that Obama is a GenXer. What was the original evidence? And what is this new evidence? If you are looking for evidence of Obama’s generational identity, I’d recommend you go to and I think you’ll find lots of actual evidence that Obama is certainly a member of Generation Jones.

    Like what I saw generally on your blog, though, and I like the junkdrawer name…

  3. Actually, I won’t indulge that stereotype as an example because piercing and tattoos have no more to do with being an Xer than wearing baseball hat backwards. It is unfortunate, but not surprising, that you have so little understanding of the concept. Apparently only what you have randomly picked up along the pop culture information highway. If you did you would not ridiculously claim that “birth year is exactly what determines” whether a person is an Xer or not. Perhaps it determines Boomers, of which you no doubt are one.

    Clearly you are confused. But I’ve not time inclination to rid you of your obviously willful ignorance.

    But OMG I am just so tickled the approve of the general content of my blog, because, you know, I’ve been sitting here biting my nails waiting for you to bestow your seal of approval upon me.

    You must be a Boomer, because only a Boomer could be such patronizing. Of course, it is one of the prime traits of your ilk.

    No shew! You bother me.

  4. Yeah, I’m not so sure about this Generation Jones campaign. The guy seems nice and friendly enough (I got a comment from him on my blog the other day arguing against Obama’s Gen X membership), and can you blame him and those born in the late Fifties? It seems like no one wants to be associated with the Boomers these days.

    I’m in your camp that Obama is a Generation X’er, and I believe members of our generation were first born in 1961.

    But regardless, I really don’t buy into calling late Boomers and early X’ers a separate generational category altogether. Sure, if you’re born around a dividing year, you’re naturally going to exhibit traits of two generations. Thus, Obama’s Boomer-ish idealism (or so the Boomers would claim) and Gen X’s pragmatism; in the end (and I hope we see it after 8 years), his pragmatism is going to carry the day. A strong does of pragmatic leadership is what this country is yearning for.

    Without the benefit of history and hindsight, we can’t say any of this for sure, naturally. But I believe history will prove us correct that Obama is a Generation X’er (or whatever name winds up sticking in 100 years) and that there are only two American generations born between the middle-end of World War II and the end of the 1970s.

    On the other hand, Obama’s victory is so transformational (as the pundits might correctly say) and brings such hope and promise for change, that there is surely room in the tent for all us, no matter what late-Boomers and some of our fellow early X’ers want to call themselves for the moment. I am confident history — and the history Obama will make and change merely by ascending to the presidency — will sort it out.

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