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.
For Duluth State Rep. Kerry Gauthier, who left office after he was caught in a highway rest stop sexual tryst with a 17-year-male, Millie Small’s ‘60s hit “My Boy Lollipop” might be the perfect fit should he pursue a political comeback.
Former presidential candidate John Edwards, who was indicted for trying to cover up an extramarital affair with the use of campaign funds, might consider promoting his brand with “Your Cheatin’ Heart” by Ray Charles, “Lovin’ On The Side” by Keith Urban or “Can’t Stop Messin’ “ by Aerosmith.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, no stranger to being politically jilted in his quests for higher office, can hitch his fading star to “I’m Beginning to See the Light” by Duke Ellington, “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” by Perry Como, or Sugarloaf’s “Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You.”
Incumbent Tim Walz, who is expected to handily defeat journeyman office-seeker Quist in the First District U.S. Representative race, might want to tout his chances with “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours” by Stevie Wonder, “Cakewalk” by Samiam or “No Sweat” by rapper T.I.
With a second presidential term in peril, Obama could go the truth-in-advertising route with “A Worried Man” by the Kingston Trio or “Second Chance” by Justin Bieber.
The colorless Mitt Romney might be similarly truthful with campaign bumper music including “A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum, “Dull Boy” by Mudvayne and “Mr. Sandman” by the Chordettes.
Brian Ojanpa is a Free Press staff writer. Call him at 344-6316 or email firstname.lastname@example.org