Today’s announcement that erudite Brooklyn indie rockers The National (left) are opening for President Obama at a campaign event Iowa on September 1 marks the most recent development in the 2012 race’s musical circus — and one of the few examples of a music/candidate pairing that hasn’t resulted in somebody totally freaking out.
The band, who previously opened for Obama in 2008 alongside Ben Harper, bring a much-needed boost to the Democrats’ so-far-disappointing musical retinue.
The party generally known for its Hollywood connections and A-list support has had trouble attracting major entertainment names this year — significantly fewer celebrities are slated to attend its National Convention in Charlotte next week; the event’s relatively low-wattage lineup so far consists only of James Taylor, America’s Got Talent stars Inspire the Fire, and Duke University alums Delta Rae. (Compare that to 2008, when Kanye, Fall Out Boy, Black Eyed Peas, Rage Against the Machine, and Death Cab for Cutie all performed in Denver.)
The GOP has also faced its share of musical woes: Earlier in the Romney campaign, K’Naan and Silversun Pickups both demanded that the candidate refrain from using their songs at fundraisers. And since the addition of Paul Ryan to the ticket, Dee Snider of Twisted Sister and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine have publicly denounced the VP hopeful’s endorsement of their music.
The Republican National Convention in Tampa also received a body blow after Lynyrd Skynyrd cancelled their performance due to the threat of Hurricane Isaac. Fortunately for the Republicans, the news hasn’t all been bad: Kid Rock announced his support for Ryan at a rally in Michigan (Ryan clearly loves him right back) and Journey just signed on to perform at the RNC — though not for a $500,000 price tag, they swear.
Readers, what do you think of the candidates’ musical choices so far? And who would you like to see take the floor for both DNC and RNC? Let us know in the comments below.
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