Will the Race for President Turn into a Generational Showdown?

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During last night's Republican debate in Florida, the only Democrats mentioned were Bill and Hillary Clinton. But the Democratic nomination has yet to be decided. In advance of tomorrow's primary in South Carolina, Clinton and Obama have engaged in a series of nasty exchanges, in what's become the kind of campaign that Obama had hoped to avoid. In his book, The Audacity of Hope, he describes the politics of the baby-boom generation as "rooted in old grudges and revenge plots hatched out long ago," by which he means the 1960's. Obama, who offers a style of leadership designed for younger voters, says he's running against that status quo--Republican and Democratic. Hillary Clinton's campaign says former President Bill will stay on the campaign trail, evoking reminders of eight baby-boom years in the White House. Will post-boom voters be turned off by the politics of divide and conquer? Will boomers themselves be attracted to the Clintons' "experience?" On the Republican side, why does John McCain, the oldest candidate in the race, appeal to young people?




Warren Olney