Will we ever have a Gen Xer President?

One of the interesting demographic impacts on politics was the fact that we jumped directly from electing a 30 year-long string of Presidents from the “Greatest Generation” (Kennedy – Bush the Elder) to Baby Boomer Presidents (Clinton – Obama).  The generation born during the Great Depression and World War II (sometimes called the Silent Generation) never had a representative elected to the Presidency.  John McCain (b. 1936) looks like the best shot they had.

Looking to the near future, it would seem that Baby Boomers are poised to continue to dominate U.S. Presidential politics for some time.  Looking at the 2016 front-runners, we have Hillary Clinton (b. 1947), Jeb Bush (b. 1953), Chris Christie (b. 1962), Elizabeth Warren (b. 1949), Rand Paul (b. 1963) and even Mitt Romney again (b. 1947 – though he always seems older to me!).

I am hard pressed to think of Gen X politicians with Presidential chops or aspirations.  Paul Ryan (b. 1970) I guess.  Or Scott Walker (b. 1967).  But I think it is very likely that Gen X could be shut out of the Presidency like the Silent Generation.   The Millennials will be eligible starting in 2016 when they start to turn 35. Generation X, like the Silent Generation has been tagged with being apathetic, particularly with regard to politics.  So will the parallel hold in Presidential politics?

 

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