Thursday, January 3, 2008

Now For the Issue That Really Matters: What Music Do the 2008 Presidential Candidates Like?

When a Washington Times reporter asked White House Press Secretary Dana Perino what she thought about Radiohead's new album last October, she replied, "I don't even know what that is. Is that a band?" To her credit, I'm not sure why someone would ask her such a question (even if, as P4K pointed out, she was twenty-one when Pablo Honey was released). Ultimately I don't know which she should get more flak over: being clueless about Radiohead, or the Cuban Missile Crisis. Ahem.

In any event, with the Iowa Caucus tonight, I've been thinking again about the intersection of music and politics. Take those videos of former Southern Baptist minister Mike Huckabee playing bass, for instance. Or the candidates ever-evolving campaign music. If you're like me and believe that musical preference can tell you a lot about someone, consider the following:

  • Last summer Hillary Clinton allowed supporters to select her campaign song. Guess what they came up with? "You and I" by Celine Dion. Just look what happens when you leave the big issues up to the American people... Clinton has also used 80s, uh, classics like "Right Here, Right Now" by Jesus Jones and "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" by Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
  • Barack Obama is using Ben Harper's "A Better Way" as his campaign song, which is admittedly far less cheesier than Miss Dion. Apparently he is also a big fan of Earth, Wind, & Fire. That should make my mother happy.
  • John Edwards has used The Music of Mellencamp in both the 2000 and 2008 elections, including "Small Town" in the former and "Our Country" in the latter. No big surprises here.
  • Rudy Guiliani has reportedly used the song "Rudie Can't Fail" by the Clash. Although it was probably chosen for the title alone, I still have to give him props for edgiest artist.
I found an article from an apparently satirical news site stating that Mitt Romney's official campaign song was -- wait for it -- "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" by Wang Chung. I admit, I believed this for the better part of a minute. Isn't that sad? (Not so much for me, but for Mr. Romney.) If anyone can find out what his real campaign song is, please let me know. Of course, after today's caucus, this might just be a moot point.

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