“Hillary, can you excite us?” asks Osaremen Okolo, a 21-year-old African-American who supports Clinton but “misses feeling fired up” as she was for Barack Obama and as some of her friends feel about Sanders.
“Young people like Bernie because he sounds like a revolutionary,” she says. But Okolo prefers Clinton’s experience and positions on issues like equal pay for equal work and criminal justice reform. “Hillary sounds pragmatic, which can come across as stuffy to young people. Her experience can almost count against her.” She adds: “Sanders seems bold, even if none of his ideas can happen.”
Shattering “that highest, hardest glass ceiling”, as Clinton so elegantly put it in her 2008 concession speech, doesn’t seem revolutionary to some younger women. Income inequality is a bigger concern in what may turn out to be a post-gender election.
Kara Lessen is a 23-year-old in her final year at Harvard who has volunteered for Sanders but was excited by Clinton eight years ago. “The ‘I’m a woman and it’s OK to vote with your uterus’ message is tired,” she said. “Bernie really understands systemic oppression. Her neo-liberal politics is pretty tired.”