It’s no secret that the 2012 Presidential election is a pretty serious one. We’re living in a decade that thus far has been dominated by a record recession, high unemployment, record levels of corporate greed and frustration.
But even with all of the circus-like antics and the media hoopla that surrounds both President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican candidate Mitt Romney, they both have been gracious enough to let the public in on some of their most important personal preferences…what they currently have on their Spotify accounts.
For starters, in a recent article on CBSNews.com from March, Romney’s Spotify playlist was revealed. Well, at least sort of. It seems that some of Romney’s campaign supporters and workers compiled some of his favorite music and created a Spotify playlist. 19 songs were placed on Spotify by Romney’s staff and here are some of the highlights, including “December, 1963 (Oh What a Night)” by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash, “Somebody Told Me” by The Killers, “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys and more songs by the likes of Toby Keith, Kid Rock, Willie Nelson and Nat “King” Cole.
At the opposite end, a report in The Huffington Post from February reported on what is supposedly President Barack Obama’s campaign playlist for the 2012 election. The Prez has been reported on before in music publications like Rolling Stone and Vibe magazine as being a fan of everything from Stevie Wonder to Al Green to Jay-Z, and more. And the President’s 30-song playlist sticks to this theme with songs including “Different People” by No Doubt, “Got To Get You Into My Life by Earth, Wind and Fire, “I Got You” by Wilco, “Keep Reachin’ Up” by Nicole Willis and the Soul Investigators and more joints from Ledisi, Sugarland, Darius Rucker, Florence and the Machine and James Taylor.
Interestingly enough (or maybe not so much), neither playlist contained anything in the way of Hip Hop. Oh well, guess we’ll save that for another article.
So what do these playlists say about the candidates, what they stand for, or what kind of President of the United States they would make? Do they give us any indication into their personal and professional politics? Or are they more along the lines of just being that and that alone: music that the two candidates seem to enjoy in their spare time that they are sharing wit the public? Is it possible for us to read too much, or too little, into what is pumped from Obama and Romney’s ear buds?
Many of us that have been through the Presidential election cycle a few times now realize that just about any and everything the candidates for the highest office in the land has some sort of political twinge to it. Truthfully, that’s just how the American political system operates. So, even if we do read a lot into what Barack and Mitt are grooving to, nine times out of ten, we would be able to infer at least a little something from it.
Take Mitt Romney’s playlist, for example. What do we see a majority of? Good, old-fashioned, traditional songs and artists that are considered to be part of America’s greatest generation. We see music that’s a little more right leaning, has a conservative, buttoned-down feel to it, is slightly patriotic, and is family value focused. All ideals that are at the foundation of the party that Romney is looking to lead to victory in November.
On the other hand, the Obama playlist reflects lots of diversity, is very cosmopolitan and more modern (in some cases), contains songs from a wide array of genres and artists, and appeals to somewhat of a younger, more inclusive demographic. So from the President’s playlist, we might infer that he’s trying to continue evoking the ideals of his respective party, which we’re told are supposed to be more about social issues, inclusiveness and diversity among the voting public.
In the end, the playlists of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama may or may not give us a better indication of what type of President each man can and will be. After all, we’ve already been living in Obama’s America for four years now, so I think we’ve already got a pretty good idea on his part. And Romney has served in public office before, as well, so maybe it’s a matter of looking more towards that as opposed to what’s on his favorite social music service.
But essentially, it’s just kind of fun to think that either man would use any or all songs from their playlists to help them make important decisions about the direction America is headed in. And as long as we as voters remember to continue to make our voices heard in the voting booth and beyond on issues that can and will effect our everyday lives, it’s fine for us debate Presidential music tastes until the cows come home.