Yet what do we expect from Presidential candidates? I mean, above everything else, do they have to have good taste in music? No, it's certainly not a requirement. In fact, maybe the less the candidates get nearer to our own tastes, the better. How strange, for instance, if Spoon's "The Way We Get By" was the soundtrack to Hillary Clinton's stump speech. And the further the candidates' beliefs get from our own, the less we want to know that they might actually share our cultural tastes. Like if "The Greatest" by Catpower accompanied Mitt Romney wherever he went.Well, frankly, I woud kind of like a president to share my affinity for, say, The Dirtbombs. I wouldn't use pop culture sensibility to decide what candidate to support (at least consciously), but I'd find if awfully reassuring. Michael Stipe and Natalie Merchant performing duets at Bill Clinton's inauguration fifteen years ago felt as hopeful as hearing the Clintons talk about universal health care (so much for that one).
Brownstein also asks what tunes we think the candidates SHOULD use. Here are my picks:
Barack Obama = "Gut Feeling" by Devo
Dennis Kucinich = "Underdog" by The Dirtbombs or "One Man Revolution" by Nightwatchman
Hillary Clinton = "Only" by Nine Inch Nails or "Means to an End" by Joy Division
John Edwards = "Here Comes Your Man" by The Pixies or "Sue Me" from Guys and Dolls
Bill Richardson = "Second Best" by Dolly Parton (perfect for a vp hopeful)