Monday, November 17, 2008

Obama Babies

The Newsweek headline, Change You Can Conceive In, is great:

The theory is almost too perfect to be true. Barack Obama, the son of politically progressive parents, was born Aug. 4, 1961—almost nine months to the day after John F. Kennedy was elected to the White House. Is it possible Obama was conceived on that historic night?

And if so, could history repeat itself? In the hours and days since Obama's victory, many of his exhilarated supporters have been, shall we say, in the mood for love. And though it's too soon to know for sure, experts aren't ruling out the possibility of an Obama baby boom—the kind of blip in the national birth rate that often follows a seismic event, whether it's scary (a terrorist attack) or celebratory (the end of World War II). "The mood of the country and the optimism about leadership is always somewhat related to birth rates," says Dr. Manny Alvarez, chief of reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. "I'm gearing up for a healthy increase."

Hope and euphoria, says University of Washington sociologist Pepper Schwartz, are a serious aphrodisiac. And voters under 30 went for Obama by a margin of 2 to 1. When you combine those two elements—randy people of child-bearing age—the likely result is what the online Urban Dictionary has already dubbed "Obama Babies" : children "conceived after Obama was proclaimed President, by way of celebratory sex." "If the amount of alcohol, happy people and major functions on election night is any indication, I suspect we'll indeed see a boom," says 25-year-old Brandon Mendelson, a graduate student in Albany, N.Y., who says he changed his vote at the last minute because "I wanted to be able to tell our future children that we voted for Obama."

1 comment:

ProgressiveChurchlady said...

This article makes me think back to that GHWB campaign commercial from the 1992 presidential election. It featured a bunch of "Reagan Babies". In one scene it had a dad sitting on the front step with his daughter asking voters if they were better off than they were 4 years ago. (End of Reagan administration, beginning of Bush.) My first niece was 4 years old at the time--about the same age as the girl in the commercial and her parents were both good Republicans living in suburban Indianapolis (Dan Quale land). The commercial made me sick.

I guess the larger question is "how do we as a collective U.S. culture measure the success of our Presidents"? I've been pondering that for years! It seems to be we measure it by GNP or export economics or other "non-human and non-environmental" standards. Until we shift that focus, we will not have much to celebrate other than breaking racial or sexual barriers to elected office!

Also, does hope only float for those able to concieve babies? If so, I'm sure screwed! (Pun intended.) It seems to me that celebratory sex to mark the end of the Bush administration and the beginning of the Obama administration should not be limited to the young and fertile...

To borrow a phrase--Yes, we can!