Obama?the Generational Challenger

There's an interesting race shaping up in 2008, and it's not just between a bunch of candidates. It's going to be a generational race--between someone who is probably too young to be considered a baby boomer, Barack Obama, and the rest of the field. While he may technically be considered of that generation, at 45, he really is too young. And in his book, he makes a point of saying that the old arguments--like Vietnam--are just old, and we need need to get beyond that. He does have a point.

So watch for Obama to run against Hillary not as a woman but as someone who is, well, old. Part of a generation that had its chance and, well, blew it. Someone who is smart and qualified but needs to move over. And should he get the nomination--and run against Republican John McCain--the argument will be even stronger. McCain, if he were to become president, would be 72 when taking office--older than Ronald Reagan was when he was first sworn in.

If the country is in the mood for change, the argument just might work. There is, however, that little question about experience in a post-9/11 world. As in, two years ago, Obama was an Illinois state senator--and now he thinks he's ready to be president? Ask his allies and they will tell you that the experienced guys--like Cheney and Rumsfeld--didn't exactly cover themselves in glory. So why not try a new guy with a fresh approach?

It's a game plan. Passing the torch does have a certain ring to it.

By Gloria Borger