Smile Politely

Music Makes the Man

How excited are you all for tonight’s debate? So much will be discussed and I, for one, am sitting on the edge of my seat. Debates are excellent because they allow us to see the candidates and hear what they are told by advisors they believe in so that we can decide on our own who we personally believe is best fitted to lead us. Personally though, I prefer someone else to tell me who to vote for. Political figures and newspaper editorial boards are alright sources for finding out who to vote for, but I prefer to be persuaded by people that have no true knowledge or expertise in the political arena – rock stars!

This year, there seems to be one clear presidential candidate choice if you’re into popular music. Barack Obama has support from every genre and every direction on the musical spectrum. Jay-Z is playing a couple shows in support of the Illinois Senator. Bruce Springsteen is doing the same. The Decemberists got tied up in Right-Wing punditry because of their support and this guy’s (pointing at self while typing) favorite New York band, The National, designed a t-shirt for the candidate of “change.” Don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not saying that Obama has it in the bag. I’m not saying that at all.

Despite all those famous faces in Obama’s corner, John McCain has taken a clear advantage in the musician-endorsement bump. Yes, just a few weeks ago McCain took control of the election when he was joined on stage and publicly endorsed by none other than Daddy Yankee:

Game over. Some say that Kennedy won the 1960 election with the first televised debate. You just witnessed the same watershed moment in the 2008 election. Yankee’s endorsement helps McCain’s campaign in a huge way. How? Good Question. Obama has tricked America’s youth into supporting him, calling for change and becoming politically active and informed – things we all know citizens under 25 have no business doing. The Yankee bump, though the polls have not yet shown it, will undoubtedly swing the youth vote to McCain.

Yankee’s infectious brand of reggaeton is exactly what the kids are into. McCain, being utterly in touch with the under-thirty crowd, knew this. I’m a college student, so I can speak from experience. In college classrooms when a muffled “Gasolina” starts to sound, every single person checks their cell phone. The guy is that big. We all laugh and briefly discuss why “Gasolina” is our favorite song. One person tears up a bit.

The best part of this whole McCain-Palin-Yankee ticket is that the Senator can now have a great campaign song. Freedom haters like Jackson Browne, John Mellencamp and Heart have all asked McCain and Palin to stop playing their songs at rallies. No matter, because “Gasolina” truly sums up the hopes and desires of the nation: Da me mas gasolina. Give me more gasoline.

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