President Obama's announcement on Tuesday that “this is our generation’s Sputnik moment” came across as puzzling.
Had al Qaeda sent a suicide bomber into space?
But it turned out to be just a clumsy metaphor.
If you are younger than 57 years old you weren't even born when the first Sputnik was launched.
It is a now distant event that no longer arouses passion. It would be as if someone described the Watergate scandal as that generation’s Teapot Dome. Few would know what he was talking about.
Nothing has happened recently that could be roughly analogous to Sputnik. The launch drew its shock value from the context of the Cold War, when the Soviet Union was America’s bitter adversary.
What the President really needs is a less "spaced out" speech writer.