Can a Gen Xer handle a millennial president?

I sometimes fancy myself the epicenter of civilization. I do all the stuff precisely when I am supposed to because all the stuff was created just for me. I bought U2’s “The Joshua Tree” exactly when I should have because U2 recorded it for me. I played Space Invaders and Pac-Man exactly when I was supposed to. I did the Rubik’s Cube when I should have. I drank wine coolers, Snapple, flavored coffee and pumpkin spice lattes when I was supposed to. I ate cupcakes, California pizza, sundried tomatoes on focaccia, salted caramel everything and avocado toast precisely at the right time. It’s all been conceptualized and created just for me! I’m like the Forrest Gump of culture — exactly where I am supposed to be.

I think everyone feels this way. That they were the luckiest to live through when they lived. That they could not imagine not living during that time when the Beatles were popular or fondue was big or the Grateful Dead was in their prime or the hula hoop was huge or one parent could work at a U.S. auto manufacturer and his family could have a very nice middle-class life.


I think everyone feels this way until they don’t. Until they walk into a 7-11 and look at the rack of gossip magazines and are able to identify no one. Or watch the Grammys and have absolutely no idea what any of the songs or who any of the singers are. Just like when my dad asked me in 1986 who Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis were, so I asked my kids this past year who Dua Lipa was. (I had heard of Cardi B.)

Pete Buttigieg, the little-known Indiana mayor who has risen to prominence in the early stages of the 2020 Democratic presidential race, made his official campaign entrance Sunday by claiming the mantle of a youthful generation ready to reshape the country.

There’s another touchstone for me. On Nov. 3, 1992, my parents and I drove to the voting booth, and I remarked that I would be voting for a man born the same year they were. I asked them if that felt weird; I’m not sure they ever replied. We were more concerned with the fact that it was raining and it was muddy and were getting rained on and muddied and, because we were all three voting for three different candidates, effectively cancelling each other’s votes.


Article Two of the United States Constitution, ratified on June 21, 1788, establishes the executive branch of the federal government, which carries out and enforces federal laws. Article Two vests the power of the executive branch in the office of the president of the United States, lays out the procedures for electing and removing the president, and establishes the president's powers and responsibilities. Section 1, Clause 5 of this article sets three qualifications for holding the presidency. To serve as president, one must: be a natural-born U.S. citizen of the United States, be at least 35 years old, be a resident in the United States for at least 14 years.

Should a president be older than 35?

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley on Wednesday endorsed an Indiana mayor to lead the Democratic National Committee, eschewing fellow Marylander and a former

Life expectancy in 1787 was about 38 years, though it was skewed because infant mortality was much higher then. Today, the average life expectancy in the United States is about 79. George Washington died at 67; John Adams died at 90; Thomas Jefferson died when he was 83.

In France, anyone old enough to vote (18) is old enough to run for president.

But does age buy wisdom? Look at the current president. Never mind — asked and answered.

But now that the prospect of a president of the United States who is younger than I is a possibility, it all seems so sudden.

Peter Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., who placed third in a March Iowa caucus poll, turned 37 on Jan. 19. On the day he was born, Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” was the No. 1 one song, and I was in 6th grade.

He’s younger than Britney Spears by nearly two months.

A president younger than Britney Spears?

And younger than me?

I don’t know. It makes me wonder what I’ve been doing with my life and more pertinently, what I’m doing wrong. But I’m sort of into it.

He checks all the right boxes: He’s smart. He somehow transcends partisanship while simultaneously making it very clear where he stands. He’s a veteran. He speaks seven languages. He has dogs. He has a sense of humor. He plays piano. He got into Harvard on his own merits.


So maybe Pete Buttigieg is supposed to run now, at 37. And I’m supposed to take notice. It’s precisely the right time.

Gary Almeter (gmalmeter@gmail.com) is an attorney in Towson. His book “The Emperor of Ice-Cream” was published in March.

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