Music in Presidential Politics

Obama and the Clintons have each won Grammys for reading their books.

Bill Clinton played sax. Mike Huckabee played bass guitar, with “his band” Capitol Offense, pissing Boston‘s Tom Scholz off when More Than A Feeling signals implicit endorsement.

There is interest to be found in the ramp-up and walk-off music at rallies, as in this great Daily Kos piece, as well as in the artists that perform at the rallies in unlikely small towns in rural America (e.g., I saw Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes do a lame set before a rally in Iowa, and, no, he didn’t play When the President Talks to God (jeez he’s trying to look like Jack White in that vid), but you can download the song for free from his label here). (of Black Eyed Peas fame) made two celebrity-riddled videos mashing up Obama speeches and chants with sung speech lines and heartfelt appeals: the most recent, We Are the Ones, and the first one, Yes, We Can. The alignment with Sí, Se Puede is intense (and I think they should have highlighted it better in the video, though of course Pat Buchanan is disgusted).

More direct than the Cesar Chavez reference made by Latino movie stars, Barack and Hillary each have a Spanish-language song. Listen to hers here; watch his here. Thanks for the tip, VSL.

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