Will the United States ever have a president from Generation X? As top leadership positions are still held predominantly by Baby Boomers and even the Silent Generation, it seems unlikely. In fact, Gen X may be too late to the party.
The “Slacker Generation” is showing that its nickname is appropriate, even in terms of political leadership. As Gen Xers are all now in midlife, they should hold important political offices including the presidency. Spoiler alert: they don’t.
Boomers continue to ride the wave of political leadership. For 28 years, beginning in January 1993 with Clinton and ending when Biden took office in January 2021, Boomers held the highest political office in the U.S.
Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump were all born in 1946. Barack Obama was born towards the end of the boom in 1961. Joe Biden changed the generational landscape. 78 years old at the time of his inauguration, he was the first member of the Silent Generation to be elected to office. Yes, we decided to go older instead of younger.
One reason that Gen Xers were doomed to fail in the 2020 election was that so many voters were opposed to any risks. Representative Eric Swalwell, 42, was just one of the candidates to hear this as he campaigned for votes.
In a recent interview with Business Insider, Swalwell remarked, “What I found when I actually talked to people in Iowa, and New Hampshire, and South Carolina, was that the voters, especially with Trump as president, were so risk-averse to a younger candidate that they saw in Biden a seasoned hand, someone who kind of just, could like, restore sanity in governing.”
Gen X For President?
Now that Biden has been in office for nearly two years, there is a political upswing for Generation X. In fact, the 2022 midterm elections showed a shift in generational leadership in Washington. Gen X will soon hold the top leadership positions in the House of Representatives.
Now that the midterm elections are over, the 2024 presidential election is on the horizon. As the 2024 election grows closer and closer, Boomers and the Silent Generation may have to get in line behind Gen Xers who aspire to hold office.
Although it may be a long shot that neither Biden nor Trump will run again, there are plenty of governors and members of Congress who are part of the “Slacker Generation” and want to be president.
It also may be more of a question of when—not if—a Gen Xer will make it to the White House. As Senator Cory Booker, 53, said, “It’s inevitable that it’s going to happen.” However, the New Jersey senator did give a caveat as he referred to 40-year-old Pete Buttigieg. “Unless, of course,” Booker said, “we get a millennial president.”