Breaking Down Barack Obama’s Presidential Playlist


Breaking Down Barack Obama’s Presidential Playlist


It’s no secret that Barack Obama is a fan of the dancing and the singing. He’s shown us that. But the President took his love affair with music to another level when he tweeted a Spotify playlist of his official 2012 campaign to his 12 million followers. The 29-song list is a lot like that mixtape your high school sweetheart made for you back in the day, except he’s trying to make himself president again, not take you out on a date. Anyway, the message is there, so let’s go see what it is, through the power of song!

On Diversity:

Just like in 2008’s presidential campaign, what makes Obama so appealing to the undecided is his embrace of a wide range of people. It’s a trait his Republican rivals are exactly famous for. His inclusion of No Doubt’s “Different People” (“For better or worse, different people”), and Ricky Martin’s “The Best Thing About Me Is You” (released shortly after the Puerto Rican singer came out), is his way of saying, “Diversity, I get it.”

On A Mildly Patriotic America:

If there’s one thing we know about America, it’s that America loves to love itself. Especially patriotic are the country music-loving folk of our nation’s heartland, which Obama reps with genre classics like Dierks Bentley’s “Home” (“Brave, gotta call it brave/ to chase that dream across the sea”), Montgomery Gentry’s “My Town” (“Ah, we’re off to Sunday service at the Church of Christ”), and “Green Onions”by Booker T. and the M.G.’s (“Now you go to Germany, you’ve got your Bach, your Beethoven, your Brahms/ Here in America you’ve got your Fred McDowell”).  We’ll group in Jersey boy Bruce Springsteen to this section, whose “We Take Care of Ourselves” makes an appearance. After all, nothing says America like Springsteen.

On Voter Love:

Obama loves his voters, and to make sure they remain his, he’s showing them some love. How? With love songs, of course! “Got to Get You Into My Life” by Earth, Wind and Fire, “I Got You” by Wilco (“It’s the end of the century/I can’t think of anything except for you”), Jennifer Hudson’s “Love You I Do,” Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” and “Keep Me In Mind” by Zac Brown Band all make appearances in this exhausting category. Special attention must be paid to “You Are The Best Thing,” by Ray LaMontagne, for its blatant post-coital quality.

On the Obama Revolution:

Even though his administration hasn’t been as progressive as some might have hoped, Obama and revolution are still synonymous. Let’s not forget how this man was swept into office. Well, the playlist proudly encourages that revolutionary spirit with empowering numbers like The Impressions’ “Keep On Pushing,” Raphael Saadiq’s “Keep On Marching” (as close as the playlist gets to actual hip-hop), Darius Rucker’s “This,” and “You’ve Got The Love” by Florence and the Machine, Ledisi’s “Raise Up,”and Sugarland’s “Stand Up.” Fight the power indeed.

On the Future:

Politics is always about the future, and Obama is no stranger to that cause. It’s the stuff presidential campaigns are made of. U2’s “Even Better Than The Real Thing” (“Give me one last chance, and I’m gonna make you sing/ Give me half a chance, to ride on the waves that you bring”), AgesandAges’ “No Nostalgia” (“There will be no looking back”), Arcade Fire’s “We Used To Wait” (“Now our lives are changing fast/ Hope that something pure can last”), Reo Speedwagon’s “Roll with the Changes” (“I’ll be here when you’re ready to roll with the changes”), Noah & The Whale’s “Tonight’s The Kind of Night,” and ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky” are here to blow a fresh breath of hope into the campaign.