The exit polls suggest Barack Obama is having a big night. How big, exactly, we won’t know until we do a state-by-state delegate analysis.
I can say I think the Baby Boomer crew is overstating the transformative nature of Barack Obama’s candidacy, especially in racial and ethnic terms. Obama is, no question, a smart guy and a terrific speaker. But to me, whether you support Obama or not, it’s just not about race. Like many Americans today — and like many Hawaiians — Obama has a varied ethnic background.
The big appeal of Obama, to me, is generational. As my friend Noam Cohen pointed out in the New York Times, “Barack Obama is a Mac, and Hillary Clinton is a PC.”
I’m a Gen-Xer born after the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy. I recognize Obama’s obvious talents and ability to unite people. But I’m also cautious of glib figures without a sense of political detail. My sense is that most voters my age or younger are very resistant to arguments based on experience, or, more importantly, policy differences aside from the Iraq War.
Yesterday, when, for example, Congressman Richard Neal described Clinton favorably as having “mastered the arcane details of public policy,” it took all the air out of the room on the Clark University campus.