Chris Uggen's Blog: bold campaign song choices

Thursday, June 28, 2007

bold campaign song choices

as others await the debates, i'm eagerly anticipating the songs. sadly, most candidates make safe-as-nondairy-creamer choices. where's the inspiration? the sense of urgency? where's the next happy days are here again?

here are my suggestions for candidates eager to capitalize on their strengths and truly inspire the voters. in my view, each candidate requires both an instrumental campaign song, which can't get them into any real trouble, and a boomer-friendly song with ennobling lyrics and inspirational vocals.

let's start with the republicans

fred thompson

senator thompson is the shaq-daddy of the field, sitting out the regular season. he'll need a badass theme song as he hunkers down in the low post.

instrumental: link wray, rumble
vocal: right said fred, i'm too sexy or john hiatt's tennessee plates

john mccain

senator mccain, on the other hand, has been campaigning for president since about 1982. he needs a song that will bring out the soldier/hero/tough guy/raising arizona vote.

instrumental: ennio morricone, for a few dollars more or wall of voodoo, on interstate 15
vocal: black sabbath, supernaut or eric burdon's sky pilot

rudy giuliani

there's just no way that the 2001 time person of the year will shake his urban hero new yorkitude in the cornfields of iowa, so he might as well just embrace the persona. but trust me on this, mr. giuliani, sinatra is played out. we midwesterners would prefer something cheesy from the lost ace frehley solo album or at least a soaring instrumental, such as theme for great cities.

instrumental: simple minds, theme for great cities
vocal: kiss, new york groove

mitt romney

tough call. he's a massachusetts governor and a practicing member of the church of jesus christ of latter day saints. i'd recommend that he hit the whole massachusetts-mormon-with-a-wild-side thing head-on.

instrumental: mountain, nantucket sleighride or air, la femme d'argent
vocal: the osmonds, crazy horses

the democrats

ah, the democrats. i'm assuming that they'll take fewer chances, opting for more "electable" campaign songs from fleetwood mac's rumours album. i'll offer a few alternatives:

hillary clinton

the frontrunner should signal that she's got the big money locked up, so i'd opt for the "in crowd" instrumental. for the vocal, let's try something nostalgic, happy, and irreverent from the big-tent brady bunch.

instrumental: ramsey lewis, the in crowd
vocal: brady bunch, do the hustle

al gore

like senator thompson, vice president gore is sauntering sloooowly to the podium, so i've gotta pick a well-paced ventures instrumental. i'd like to see the ex-veep wear his wonkitude on his sleeve and let his geek flag fly, so how 'bout a little blinded me with science?

instrumental: the ventures, walk don't run
vocal: thomas dolby, she blinded me with science

barack obama

i've been saving green onions, the all-time instrumental bumper music classic, for senator obama. i toyed with have a little faith in me for the vocal, but it just doesn't rock like what's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?

instrumental: booker t. and the m.g.s, green onions
vocal: elvis costello, what's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?

dennis kucinich

i can't decide whether representative kucinich should go weenie or play against type as a tough guy. let's try 'em both.

instrumental: joe satriani, surfing with the alien
vocal: killdozer,
la grange or wall of voodoo, tse-tse fly or the flaming lips' yoshimi

john edwards

i'm looking for something smooth, southern, accessible, and electable for john edwards. that's why duane eddy and dicky betts' sweet allman brothers classic seem perfect (though almost cut my hair would be more fun).

instrumental: duane eddy, rebel rouser
vocal: allman brothers, blue sky or bon jovi, livin' on a prayer

the independent: michael bloomberg

hmmm. an independent(ly wealthy) business leader flirting with mounting a serious run. for now, i'd suggest a flirty instrumental and some non-committal songs from the dressed-for-business-class robert palmer.

instrumental: the meters, cissy strut or ursula 1000: kinda kinky
vocal: robert palmer,
simply irresistable or i didn't mean to turn you on.

someday, one of the candidates will play it straight and hit us with alice cooper's elected. a song like that would be perfect for governor schwarzenegger, and it might just rocket joe biden or tommy thompson into double digits in the polls.


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