NEWS

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December 5, 2007

Why Obama matters: Fu-gee-la

The Idolator, part of the Gawker umbrella that includes Wonkette and Deadspin, has an item on Hillary and Obama's musical taste. Just going by their examples, the situation is in fact bleak. The Goo-Goo Dolls, Celine Dion, Third Eye Blind--it's not the type of jams you want the leader of the free world listening to as he/she prepares for a meeting with Vladimir Putin. But are benefit concerts really an accurate measurement of musical taste? After all, if the Goo Goo Dolls want to play for free, and people are willing to pay your campaign to see them, there's no point in saying no.According to Facebook, Obama's favorite musicians are as follows:Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Joann Sebastian Bach (cello suites), and the Fugees.By contrast, Hillary's facebook page doesn't list any favorite anythings, which in addition to being really lame, means that I'm just going to assume that she really does like Celine Dion and Fleetwood Mac.To date, Wyclef, Lauryn, and Pras are still the number-one reason I can come up with for why I would vote for Obama (I'm still on the fence). In fact, it's the best reason anyone can up with--Andrew Sullivan's recent cover story in the Atlantic said essentially the same thing in different terms, and the Nation made a similar argument. Obama provides an exit strategy from the Baby Boomers' bickering that no other candidate can escape. If you accept the premise that the country needs a fresh approach, then BHO is the only candidate left--"Washington Outsiders" like Romney and Huckabee are still Baby Boomers stuck fighting the wars of yesteryear.So musical tastes, far from being a space-filler on political blogs, can tell us a lot about the candidates. For Obama, the first major presidential candidate ever to openly acknowledge his love of hip-hop, his tastes remind us that he doesn't really care about the lingering generational conflict he was never a part of.