With election season in full bloom, it’s time to turn to those who are uniquely qualified to provide us with some political direction: musicians. It fascinates me that famous people like to tell us which candidate they endorse. Because they sing they are in a position to offer guidance? And because we are all lemmings we will follow them? Yes and yes!
I thought it would be super fun to stage a virtual face-off between Romney and Obama fans, music style. You could then assess which musicians you found to be more credible and use that to make your decision about who to vote for (you’re welcome!).
Here is the problem I ran into when I started to implement this plan: Romney has about 8 supporters in the music industry and Obama literally has all the rest, so it wouldn’t even be a fair fight. Despite the fact that I want to present myself as non-partisan, I am going to only lay out the Romney supporters from the music scene. If you don’t find them compelling, you should just vote for Obama by default. Ready, set, go!
Donny and Marie Osmond – The connection here is easy. Romney attended Brigham Young University, and the Osmonds are Mormons, so this one was a no-brainer. Bigger challenge, please!
Gene Simmons – I had to do some research on this one, since it wasn’t immediately clear to me why the KISS front man (and reality star!) would endorse Romney, especially since he apparently voted for Obama in ’08. Appearing on the conservative show Fox and Friends, Simmons announced his change of heart with this editorial: "America is a business. If you can’t afford to do something, no matter how much bellyaching everybody does – I’m so sorry, if you can’t afford it, you shouldn’t do it." Now there’s some logic you can sink your teeth in.
Kid Rock – Obviously Kid and Mitt are probably besties because of their shared Motor City roots. At a rally last week, Kid Rock had this to say: “I am very proud to say that we had elected our first black president. I’m sorry he didn’t do a better job. I really wish he would have, I do. But, the facts are the facts, and we just saw them come to light in the last debate. With no outside BS, no bias media involved, no interruptions, and negative political ads every five seconds, and most importantly no damn teleprompters. Yeah, I enjoyed it so much I think I might throw a kegger for the Ryan-Biden debate.” Well, that would have been a fun way to watch the debate! This just in: Kid Rock has purportedly offered for Romney to use his songs in the Romney-Ryan campaign. No word on whether they’re taking him up on that offer.
Pat Boone – It’s possible Pat Boone is a Romney supporter simply because he’s an Obama hater. I found a video where he pontificated on his belief that Obama was born in Kenya and is not qualified to be president. To be fair, Boone seems to be a pretty staunch Republican in general.
Ted Nugent – Another Michigan homeboy here. You know what I’d love? I’d like to see Mitt and Ted out doing some bow hunting together. It doesn’t seem like everything is roses between these two, however. Nugent expressed his support of Romney, in part, with this (possible consideration for a Romney campaign slogan?): "If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail this time next year." This ringing endorsement for Romney may have flustered the Republican candidate, never wanting to really alienate a supporter. They carefully walked the line with this statement: "Divisive language is offensive no matter what side of the political aisle it comes from," said Andrea Saul, a Romney spokeswoman. "Mitt Romney believes everyone needs to be civil."
Trace Adkins – Romney seems to attract the country singers, or maybe country singers tend to be Republicans? Not sure, but I do know that between stints on Celebrity Apprentice, Trace makes time to perform at Romney-Ryan rallies.
Nicki Minaj – There’s a bit of disagreement about whether Nicki has actually backed Romney. Her lyrics on one of Lil’ Wayne’s songs certainly seem clear enough: “I’m a Republican voting for Mitt Romney/You lazy bitches is fucking up the economy.” Well didn’t someone’s cool quotient just go way up with that endorsement! But then (oh, no!) comes this tweet from Nicki: “Ha! Thank you for understanding my creative humor & sarcasm Mr. President, the smart ones always do... *sends love & support* @BarackObama”. She was just being sarcastic- snap! Nonetheless, I still like to think of Mitt’s last name as “Romony” since it rhymes better with “economy.”
The Oak Ridge Boys – I’m not sure how much clout the Oak Ridge Boys carry at this point, but for what it’s worth, they want Romney for president. From the Tampa Bay Times: “We are going to do whatever is asked of us,” band member Joe Bonsall said. “If the Romney-Ryan campaign comes to the Oak Ridge Boys, and we can fit something into our schedule, yes, we believe in Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan and their vision for America.” Okay, is there a chance the Oak Ridge Boys might not have time in their schedule for a presidential campaign? And are the Romney-Ryan strategists sitting around thinking about how could move the campaign forward a bit and settling on this band? I feel like I’m in the twilight zone suddenly…
Taylor Hicks – This American Idol alum performed at the Republican National Convention. However, he was strangely non-committal about his own vote, noting that his performance did equate an endorsement of Romney. I daresay that might be misinterpreted.
Hank Williams Jr. – All you need to know about Hank’s position is found in this quote during a performance at the Iowa State Fair: "We've got a Muslim president who hates farming, hates the military, hates the U.S. and we hate him!" Oh, my. Can a candidate decline a supporter?
And in case you need clarification about who “everyone else” is as far as artists who support Obama, here is a partial list:
Marc Anthony, Jeff Beck, Mary J. Blige, Jon Bon Jovi, David Byrne, Colbie Caillat, Mariah Carey, Cher, Common, El Debarge, Earth, Wind & Fire, Gloria Estefan, Foo Fighters, Ben Folds, Peter Frampton, Lady Gaga, Al Green, Cee Lo Green, Josh Groban, Buddy Guy, Herbie Hancock, Jennifer Hudson, Mick Jagger, Quincy Jones, R. Kelly, Alicia Keys, B.B. King, Carole King, Beyoncé Knowles, Jay-Z, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Adam Levine, Ludacris, Joel Madden, Madonna, Chris Martin, Ricky Martin, Dave Matthews, Bette Midler, Nicki Minaj, Moby, Janelle Monáe, Jason Mraz, Ne-Yo, Randy Newman, Katy Perry, Pink, Pitbull, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kelly Rowland, Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, Barbra Streisand, Trey Songz, James Taylor, Toni Tennille, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Eddie Vedder, Pete Wentz, will.i.am and Stevie Wonder.
See you on Election Day!
Filed under: Music News