From the 2008 campaign's use of Stevie Wonder's classic "Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)" to the White House's first South by South Lawn festival just last week, the Obamas have certainly left a fresh musical legacy on the presidency. If you're not familiar with Barack and Michelle's awesome, diverse musical palates, check out the White House's Spotify profile, complete with holiday and summer playlists. At the recent South by South Lawn festival, a play on South by Southwest, the Obamas had musical acts including The Lumineers, The Dap-Kings, Gallant, and Black Alley amongst conversations about climate change and other important issues with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio. With such strong musical taste leaving the presidency, we got to thinking what our current candidates could be using as suitable walk-out music on the campaign trail. Let's jump in with the lesser candidates.
Gary Johnson: Literally Can't Name A Single Piece of Music
The Libertarian candidate comes in hot with an unsurprising lack of knowledge here. We can imagine that a conversation about music with Johnson might go something like his infamous MSNBC interview, in which he replied "What is Aleppo?" when asked what he would do about the disastrous condition of the Syrian city. We don't want to have to stare, dumbfounded, at Johnson when he inevitably asks, "Who are The Beatles?" So, we have a default assignment for Johnson, whose Libertarian platform of stripping down government is suited to some minimalist music. Johnson gets John Cage's famous three-movement composition 4'33", which is 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence.
Jill Stein: Folk Songs With Especially Obscure Lyrics
The Green Party powerhouse actually has a musical career, and has released four studio albums with collaborator Ken Selcer as folk-rock act Somebody's Sister. Stein gets ~lit~ with her congas, guitar, and some legalized marijuana. We're going to go ahead and say she's a big fan of counterculture folk music. You know all those songs that have political messages, but you have no idea what they are because they're drowned in obscure metaphors? That's Jill Stein's shit.
Bob Dylan - "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall"
Crosby, Stills, & Nash - "Wooden Ships"
And the moment we've all been waiting for. On to the major candidates.
Donald Trump: Misinterpreted Rage Against The Machine
We'll let The Donald speak for himself here:
"Look. We can bring Rage Against the Machine back. That I will tell you. We're bringing it back. Okay? And I understand what you're saying. And I get that from so many people. 'Is raging against the machine dead?' They are asking me the question, 'Is raging against the machine dead?' And raging against the machine is in trouble. That I can tell you. Okay? It's in trouble. But we're going to get it back and do some real head-banging. *Sees Tom Morello* How about the man with that beautiful red hat? Stand up! Stand up! What a hat!"
Clueless politicians always seem to misinterpret RATM, apparently not seeing the point of their socially-aware music. Paul Ryan's affection was shut down by RATM guitarist Tom Morello (guy with the hat) in the 2012 election cycle, who said "he is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades." Let's let Donald keep telling us all about how he has the best rage, and how much he hates machines. "We're gonna build a wall to keep the mosh pit safe, and we're gonna make fake fans pay for it."
RATM - "Bulls on Parade" & "Bombtrack"
Hillary Clinton: Whatever Appeals to the Most People
There's no way Hillary is not staying committed to saying she carries hot sauce in her bag, for which she was accused of pandering to black voters (she actually has an extensive history of loving spicy food, so who knows). In keeping with the (probable) first female President, you can't leave out Queen Bey. So here's "Formation" in all its glory.
Without fail, you know Clinton's campaign is picking songs that everybody loves and relates to. Stevie Wonder is already claimed by the Obamas, but our bonus picks draw on similar influences. We don't want to see Hillary Clinton dance to Earth, Wind & Fire and Michael Jackson, we need to see it.
Earth, Wind & Fire - "Let's Groove"
Michael Jackson - "Black or White"
BONUS: Quick Look at the Vice Presidential Candidates
Tim Kaine: *Puts on Round Glasses and Blonde Wig, Is Now John Denver*
Who can deny the sweet, high pitch of Tim Kaine's voice? You just know that this guy could sing if he wanted to, sing all the way through the Blue Ridge mountains...
Pick: John Denver - "Take Me Home, Country Roads"
Mike Pence: Music That Stands For "American" Values
Mike Pence doesn't want any of that devilish nonsense about sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. He's proud of his roots in Middle America, and he won't have these damn hippies and kids ruining it. He gets the most famous anti-protest song from the Vietnam era. Listen to Merle Haggard do his best Mike Pence.
Pick: Merle Haggard - "Okie From Muskogee"
That's about it for our candidates. We hope they'll embrace the music we've bestowed on them. Embracing their flaws and seeing how unimportant the music they play at their rallies really is? Probably not as likely. Listen to the Presidential Candidates' Walk-Up playlist above.