Why politicians stink at choosing songs: Romney & Obama know this is the rarebipartisan issue
In a heated political campaign, words matter. The right word can sway someone who is sitting on the proverbial fence to pick a side.
The wrong word can take a candidate's message off target (Google “Joe Biden” and “Chains”) and be left explaining exactly how their foot ended up in their mouth.
That’s why it so surprising no one seems to be listening to the words of songs being played at political rallies. As careful as the campaigns are to protect the candidate's image, you would think someone would bother to listen to the lyrics of the songs they use.
No one seems to be listening to the words of songs being played at political rallies.
Take the use of “Panic Switch” by the band the Silversun Pickups during a recent Mitt Romney campaign stop. The Silversun Pickups heard about it and sent the candidate a cease and desist letter, but why use a song whose chorus goes . . .
When you see yourself in a crowded room, do your fingers itch, are you pistol-whipped?
Will you step in line or release the glitch? Can you fall asleep with a panic switch?
Now to be fair, Romney is not only candidate to not pay attention to the lyrics. We can only assume every politician who has used Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” has never bothered listening to anything other than the chorus.
If they had, they would have discovered the song is about a disgruntled Vietnam Veteran who can’t find a job or get help from the VA when he returns. Not exactly flag waving stuff.
Political campaigns like to play songs such as the Lee Greenwood anthem “Proud to be an American” (where at least I know I can drive drunk naked!) to excite the crowd and make them look hip and relevant.
Here’s a suggestion — maybe both parties should start playing “Words” by Missing Persons. If you ask me, that song, more than any other, captures the true spirit of politics today.