As Mr Barack Obama re-positions himself in the Oval Office there are a number of things he may reflect on about his campaign. The positivity of his chosen campaign slogan, “Forward” and how it represents his longing to advance the policies he helped institutionalize, for example. Perhaps also how, despite a catastrophic first debate to begin with, the President decided to keep things extremely simple in comparison to his 2008 campaign. Or maybe, just maybe, he might reflect that regardless of the simplicity of his campaign he owes a lot of its publicity to his outstanding musical tastes.
It is a very rare occurrence for a political leader of such importance to mention his favourite ear candy as often and openly as Barack Obama does. It is even more unusual for so many of said politician’s praised musicians to return the compliment with an amorous, and very obvious, show of support.
When you’re up against a political opponent like Mitt Romney, who counts country and western drawlers such as Garth Brooks and Kenny Chesney as supporters, it is easy to run away with the ‘cool factor’. Romney admitted during his campaign that he regularly listens to acts such as The Killers and The Eagles, but neither group lovingly skipped towards him with open arms pleading, “Romney sir, PLEASE use our music!” Philomena Lynott even had strong words to say about the use of her son Phil’s music by the Republican candidate’s vice presidential runner, Paul Ryan. “This is not something Philip would have supported,” she said.
Obama, on the other hand, has had musical heavyweights like Bruce Springsteen, Jay Z and Beyonce standing behind him every step of the way only waiting for an opportunity to big-up his initiatives. These three musicians, who are arguably three of the world’s biggest superstars, threw their huge popular culture weight behind the Obama-man. Springsteen and Jay Z both performed at a final pep rally for Obama in crucial state Ohio mere hours before polling stations opened. Here, Jay Z did a mock up of his most popular track, rapping, “I got 99 problems but Mitt ain’t one.” Bruce’s inspirational working-class American anthem “Working on a Dream” was also played numerous times throughout Obama’s campaign.
Katy Perry performed at a Las Vegas rally a week prior to election day wearing a skintight, attention-grabbing, PVC dress designed to look like a ballot sheet. On it, the box beside Obama was completely coloured in, while Romney’s was left empty. Like everything Perry wears, the outfit made headlines. Exactly what Mr President needed.
The overall message shown by stars like the ones mentioned above is that pop supported Obama. In this day and age, if pop supports something you can be almost certain a large chunk of America’s youths support it too.
Speaking out about both Springsteen and Jay Z, Obama said, “Not only do I have both artists on my iPod, but both represent an American story.” Oh my, the coolest President ever to govern America even has an iPod. I have an iPod. An iPod with The Boss on it. We really ARE all in this together. And just like that, Obama was re-elected. Here’s to the next 4 years, Big Man.