When Barack Obama started campaigning for the primaries against Hillary Clinton in 2007, he appealed to what he called the great “generational divide” between himself, a candidate born in 1961, and an older candidate who embodied the baby boomer generation and the spirit of the 1960s. Obama repeatedly stated that he wanted to turn the page on the 1960s and move beyond the “tired ideological battles” of those “years of hope and days of rage” (Gitlin 1987). In several speeches, he argued that the United States needed new political paradigms to face the problems of the day: Iraq, the war on terrorism, the destruction of our environment, globalization, all

terms that had replaced the out-of-date keywords of the 1960s. Even though this argument can be analyzed as an electorally useful strategic echo of John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address, with its image of the torch passed to a new generation of Americans, and as a skillful reminder of the difference brought forth by a postboomer candidate versus an “überboomer” like Hillary Clinton, who, as John Broder (2007) ironically underlined in a 2007 article in the New York Times, had encouraged her audience in a 1969 commencement address to search for “a more immediate ecstatic and penetrating mode of living,” in 2007 many political reviewers and critics emphasized that 2008 would represent a “hinge moment in generational politics,” a transformation in issues and voters hungering for change in politics and policy. As a counterpoint to this pervading argument, Broder (2007), however, noted in the same article that in spite of the supposed hunger for a new generation of leaders, “the voters [had] recently elected what [was] probably the oldest Congress in American history.” One could of course object that young people were not among the voters who elected that particular Congress; instead, they gave their votes to the presidential candidate, Barack Obama.