The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Columns

August 25, 2012

Ojanpa: Songs for all ilk of pols

MANKATO — Every election cycle, without fail, politicians hijack recording artists’ songs to use as campaign material.

Also without fail, said recording artists take offense.

It happened again this week, when Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider asked Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan to cease using the band’s 1984 hit “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”

In past years other politicians have been similarly taken to task for trying to link what they’re all about to someone’s song.

Foo Fighters asked the John McCain camp to stop using “Hero.”

Heart got miffed when Sarah Palin began branding her campaign with  “Barracuda.”

Tom Petty got irked twice — when Michelle Bachmann used “American Girl” to rally her supporters and when the Bush campaign in 2000 co-opted “I Won’t Back Down.”

Sam Moore did not take kindly to then-Sen. Barack Obama’s use of the Sam & Dave classic “Hold On! I’m Coming.”

But don’t expect politicians to stop this ploy anytime soon, because catching the ears of voters with songs that play into the candidates’ messages and personas is a temptation too great to ignore.

Which raises some food for thought: What songs would be appropriate for some other politicians to employ?

For Missouri legislator Todd Akin, whose “legitimate rape” statement and horribly botched “explanation” of how a woman can somehow wish away a resulting pregnancy, two campaign songs might be apt: “Wrong Again” by Martina McBride and “Somethin’ Stupid” by Nancy and Frank Sinatra.

The oft-erroneous Bachmann could probably use those as well, or she might opt for The Doobie Brothers’ “What A Fool Believes.”

Wasecan Mike Parry, whose trouncing by Al Quist in the First District Republican primary was due in part to a string of spoken and tweeted gaffes, might want to go the self-deprecating route next time around with “Oops!...I Did It Again” by Britney Spears.

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