Rocker and outspoken Democrat John Mellencamp has asked that Republican presidential candidate John McCain stop using his songs while on the campaign trail, according to Rolling Stone. McCain has been playing Mellencamp’s “Our Country” and “Pink Houses” at political rallies, which prompted Mellencamp to make the request.
What the commentators said
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, said The First Post. “In 1984, the Ronald Reagan re-election campaign briefly used ‘Born in the USA,’ an anti-Vietnam War song, as a campaign rouser, without permission, until Bruce Springsteen, a lifelong Democrat, insisted that they stop.” And Barack Obama “has used ‘Only in America’ by the Country & Western duo Brooks and Dunn, although Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn were supporters of President Bush in 2004.”
Why was McCain using Mellencamp’s songs in the first place? said Rolling Stone’s blog Rock & Roll Daily. Those “far-right types whose votes McCain is seeking” probably don’t appreciate “the mildly progressive lyrics to ‘Our Country,’ which call on the government to ‘help the poor and common man’ and suggest that ‘there’s room enough here for science to live/And there’s room enough here for religion to forgive.’”
It seems like “die-hard Democrat John Mellencamp” was trying to “shame” McCain “a little,” said Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts in the Washington Post, and “it seems to have worked.” One of McCain’s reps said that the campaign is no longer playing Mellencamp’s songs.
“This leaves McCain in a real bind,” said Brandon Barker in AOL’s Political Machine blog. “With his campaign gathering support and delegates,” now is “the time for his staff to nail down a campaign song—and during this stormy political season, Toby Keith is just not going to cut it.” And with “patriotic artists like Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, and John Mellencamp off limits to conservatives,” where will McCain turn?