Barack Obama's mobilization of the youth vote doesn't surprise me. I am eight months out of college and completely get his appeal: his hopeful ideals, moving speeches and that air of change surrounding him are thrilling.
What shocks me is how thoroughly uncool it is to back Hillary and how her twentysomething supporters are regularly put on the defensive for having the audacity to vote against hope, change and revolution. While the Obamaniacs display their support proudly on messenger-bag pins and Facebook statuses, I have found Hillary supporters to be a quieter bunch, not looking to attract attention. As one of my friends from college describes it, being a Hillary supporter is "like being one of the geeky kids standing in the corner, trying to avoid eye contact" so she does not have to be asked, again, why she just doesn't get it.
Obama is so incredibly easy to get: drink the Kool-Aid, get on the bandwagon and get excited. Watch the "Yes We Can" YouTube video, musical artist will.i.am's star-studded tribute to Obama's oratorical abilities that has had nearly 6 million views in one month, and try not to get inspired. This guy exudes cool and he does it effortlessly, in a breezy suit without a tie and armed with a cadre of hip celebrities.
But Hillary? Her fan-created tribute video, a cheesy, over-choreographed dance number titled "Hillary4U&Me," reminds me of my own parents' unnatural LOLs and BTWs in instant messaging, the exact opposite of effortless cool. She exudes a painful mix of consistently embarrassing mom and annoying high-school overachiever, the one who spends Saturday night diligently studying for a test that is two weeks away.
But Hillary also has a bigger problem: for many women my age, a female president does not seem like change. She doesn't inspire us to chant "Yes, we will!" because, in a sense, we already have: we have taken more Advanced Placement classes than our male counterparts, enrolled at universities at higher rates and graduated with better GPAs. Now in our early 20s, most of us have not yet made any trade-offs between family and career; we're doctors, investment bankers and lawyers in training. That makes a female president seem hardly revolutionary or cool—especially when standing next to a multiracial candidate who has the Arcade Fire on his side.