Don't leave young people holding the baby


For the last twenty years we have had dynasties in the White House.  The Clinton and the Bush families have occupied the number one slot and demonstrated the support network that brings to great, if opportunistic (or some may say exploitative), effect.   Not much disaffected young people can relate to.  If your family is divided or divisive, their expectations of you are low and you fight your battles yourself then identifying with Chelsea Clinton nestling up to her mother on a stadium stage is going to be tricky.   This is what the pollsters are hoping is going to attract first-time votes to Obama, that he has had it as hard as they have and they can identify with him.  He has just used his children for the first time, to show what a united family they are and to allow his wife to soften her image by demonstrating what a good little wifey she is.   Something about this made me feel slightly uneasy, especially on a day when we discover that Bristol Palin, the seventeen year old unmarried pregnant daughter of Republican McCain's Christian running mate, is "keeping the baby and marrying the father", (can't imagine there was much choice about that). 

Young people need to be engaged in politics but parading "happy and normal" families in front of them is not the way to do it.