In a great find, the Hoover Institute blog put up Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway’s (then Fitzpatrick) 1997 prognostications about Gen-X voters in the 2000 election. This is great stuff.
I would say that Al Gore has little appeal among Generation Xers for the simple reason that Xers eschew hypocrisy. The irony for Al Gore is that his running mate, Bill Clinton, had considerable appeal among young people. But that reservoir of goodwill and “coolness,” if you will, does not automatically get bequeathed to the second banana. You’ve got to earn that on your own, and Al Gore has not. Young people are uncomfortable with him–he’s the uncle who buys them subscriptions to Field & Stream for Christmas and makes them sit up straight at the dinner table. Bill Clinton got them their first girl and their first beer. So Xers identify with Al Gore very differently.
Bill Clinton got me laid. Al Gore talks to me about the outdoors. LAME!!!
Among other potential Democrats, I imagine that someone like Bill Bradley may have some appeal among younger voters because he’s a national celebrity and established figure outside politics. He’s a Rhodes scholar and a basketball star, and so he can make a credible case for being a capital I Independent. I think that as time marches on, though, Evan Bayh, the current governor of Indiana, will be the Democrat to look out for in terms of appeal.
If there’s one thing we know about 2000, it’s that the kids flew to Bill Bradley’s campaign of zero charisma. But Evan Bayh, well, that’s a man for the youngs!
But the real good stuff is about the Republicans.
Among the Republicans, Dan Quayle has potential with young people. He’s young, he’s got a handsome young family. But it’s more than that. He talks about the kind of core, commonsense values that appeal to Generation Xers, the kind that its grandparents–the silent generation–grew up with. For obvious reasons, Xers have more respect for their grandparents than they do for their parents, and a candidate like Dan Quayle can really speak to them on a level that resonates with them.
For obvious reasons, the kids hate their hippie parents and want guidance from Strong Leaders like The GREATEST GENERATION OF ALL TIME!!! And therefore, they only have one option–Mr. Dan Quayle, already long since discredited as a national joke.
And now the punchline:
As for other Republicans who appeal to young people, look out for John Kasich. He’s forty-three or forty-four, chairman of the Budget Committee, newly married, takes his staff to Oasis concerts, and knows his way around the hip vernacular.
Well, Oasis, Jesus we might as well be electing a hipster to the White House! And John Kasich has truly maintained his youthful exuberance and appeal to young people all the way to 2016.
In conclusion, The Aristocrats!