Sunday night, Matt Drudge, founder of the Drudge Report who himself has recently gone “Gothic” with his all black Twitter profile photo, made a social observation about the aging of the stars featured in the VMA awards. Drudge tweeted: “The Obama Generation is all grown up.” Drudge added the hashtag, “#VMAs,” and a photo of Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj everyone would know he was pointing at the icons of the Obama era.-
In 2008, Taylor Swift voted for the first time and she and throngs of young people were passionately keyed into the presidential race. According to a People Magazine article, Swift kept her vote secret, unwilling to reveal whether she voted for Obama or John McCain for president. Swift, then 18, explained she watched the debates, researched the issues and the candidates but in the end, she admitted, “I went with my gut instinct.”
Since Barack Obama was inaugurated as the first black president in January of 2009, more than six years have passed. During those years, the Drudge Report often highlighted any report that Obama was a “cool” president, giving some of those reports banner headlines on the Drudge site.
Now many of the stars who were in their teens or early twenties then are pushing mid-twenties and some are past thirty years old. However, many aging icons still think they are young enough and cool enough to influence the vote in election 2016. According to the New Yorker, Bernie Sanders is currently highly popular with “the kids,” polling at 37 percent favorability. If this is true, then being “cool” is either not dictated by the age of the candidate or not a factor in this election. Sanders is 73.
Though highly publicized flare-ups between political figures and celebrities are not new, some have seemed to be deliberately provoked during the Obama era. Like Donald Trump, Obama has been mocked because his participation in these type of disputes are considered “non-presidential.” Obama’s ongoing feud with Kanye West, who is now pushing forty, is a case in point.
In 2009 ABC News reporter Terry Moran tweeted, “Pres. Obama just called Kanye West a ‘jackass’ for his outburst at VMAs when Taylor Swift won. Now THAT’S presidential.” Later Moran apologized and deleted the tweet. Recently, Obama was reported by US Magazine to have called West out for claiming Obama called him on his home number. “I don’t think I’ve got his home number,” denied the president.
Nicki Minaj was still fresh-faced and 25 year old when voters were lining up at voting booths in 2008; now she is 32, which is well into maturity by most anyone’s standards. No one has quite forgotten the controversy Minaj stirred up during the 2012 election cycle when she rapped about voting for Mitt Romney because of the economy. Currently CNN claims Minaj is trying to rev up the young black vote for Hillary Clinton with her rap line, “Used to call me Hillary cause I ride ’em.”
Matt Drudge’s “all grown up” tweet may have been only age-related, never meant to imply that any of the “Obama generation” of stars have truly matured as they aged. Obama very successfully tapped into the young vote during his elections. Still even Obama now acknowledges that his generation is not the only ones who have aged, so have his daughters. Obama thinks his daughters may be more in-the-know about who’s cool and who’s not than he.
That may be the reason that it has been a while since the Drudge Report banner mentioned anything about how “cool” Obama is. If the Obama generation is over the hill, is it possible the the generation of cool presidents is a thing of the past as well? Going forward, one also might hope Matt Drudge will lose the “Gothic” black-out image on his Twitter account as it becomes, like the Obama generation, so yesterday.