Since President Obama revealed, albeit very briefly, that he has a voice like fine, fine satin last night, we were reminded about some of the other remarkable singing politicians who’ve tickled our ears over the decades. We’ll leave aside performers like Ronald Reagan and Sonny Bono who turned to politics later in life. Also, sorry, John McCain. You were a little pitchy, dawg. So who are our top 5 political performers? Read on…
5. John Ashcroft: Soaring eagles and Singing Senators
The Senator-turned-Attorney General’s passion for music was met with mixed reviews. Though he received pretty much universal scorn for his 2002 American anthem “Let the Eagle Soar,” he was at his best before he joined the Executive Branch when he teamed up with fellow Republican Senators Larry Craig, Jim Jeffords, and Trent Lott to form the ’90s boy band sensation The Singing Senators. Unfortunately, the 2000s were a tough time for the group as Jeffords defected to the Independent party, Craig became embroiled in a gay sex scandal, and Lott resigned to become a lobbyist.
John Ashcroft – “Let the Eagle Soar”
The Singing Senators – “Elvira”
4. “Sixteen Tons” of talent? Maybe not, but we still love Dennis Kucinich
It’s appropriate that the hummingbird of politicians has a mighty fine warble. To rouse his base, the twee Ohio Representative busted out a surprisingly deep-diving countertenor. The coal miner’s lament was an effective way to express the plight of the downtrodden working class man.
3. Orrin Hatch: Representing the Jews of Salt Lake, yo
A hip-hop Hannukah song written by a Republican Senator from Utah? Need we say more?
2. Vladimir Putin found his thrill on “Blueberry Hill”
The Russian Prime Minister showed off his talent and timbre to the tune of Fats Domino’s 1956 blueser at a 2010 charity gala attended by A-listers including Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Kevin Costner, and Sharon Stone. His piano-playing was certainly impressive, but not quite enough to snag him the No. 1 slot. So who did it go to?
1. Herman Cain: “Imagine There’s No Pizza”
For obvious reasons, John Lennon’s ode to peace and global harmony has been a favorite of politicos practically since its 1971 release. That said, I’ll take Cain’s rendition over Bill Clinton’s Johnny Cash-style basement-level vocal performance any day. As with all things, Cain was always and will forever be about the showmanship. Best of all, we don’t have to imagine a world where “there’s no pizza.” Cain can hook us up ad eternitum. Free pizza Fridays!
What about you, PopWatchers? Who is your favorite singing stumper?