Monday, February 25, 2008

Singer-Songwriter/Campaign Consultant

(Originally posted by Jill on Nov. 8, 2007)

After reading a New York Times piece on the rise (and now fall) of the celebrity political consultant, I think I wouldn't mind trying my hand at it. See, this music thing is tough and has yet to pay off monetarily. I would like to know how much Naomi Wolf -- who wrote The Beauty Myth, which I did kind of like at the time- got paid for advising Al Gore to wear earth tones and be all alpha-male for his campaign. What were her qualifications? As an ex-Bush advisor was quoted to say, "The problem with political consulting is you don't need a license or a degree. Anyone can just show up with a camcorder. It is the ultimate in hackery- for which I am perfectly suited". Dang, I own a camcorder and a new iphone!

And why can't my singer/songwriter credentials be an advantage? Case in point: Hillary's choice of a Celine Dion song for her campaign. For me personally, her approval rating dropped 17%. And I am not alone. No one I know knows the song, nor would like it if they heard it. And another thing is that she is a Canadian. That doesn't bother me, but it could bother others. Why take the chance? The song should be from an American artist, not Canadian, unless it is like The Guess Who's "American Woman," which is about an American.

Side note: my friends and I sometimes play this game when we are on the road, "Name the Famous Canadian Musicians". I always start with Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and BTO.

Okay, so what song would I choose for Hillary? Hmmm…Dylan's "The Times They Are a-Changin'" ? Bill Withers's "Lean on Me"? No, not quite right, but better than a sad-ass Celine Dion song. Maybe, I could write the song. I wonder if Fleetwood Mac got paid every time Bill used "Don't Stop."

Would it be more fun and interesting to work for a more right-wing contender? How about Giuliani who has just been endorsed by Pat Robertson? Well, now that he has to appeal and convince the Christian base. I say, "Day by Day" from Godspell. It may at first seem a bit too much Church and State, but it is so happy and catchy. And, it's a compassionate Jesus who has a jewfro and wears suspenders. Who doesn't like that? Well, maybe you do need to add some extra lyrics for those who need a stronger message:

Day by day

Day by day

Oh Dear Lord

Four things I pray

To see thee more clearly

Love thee more dearly

Follow thee more nearly

And make sure marriage is between a man and a woman

Day by Day

How about The Flintstones theme song? We all love that one. And it shows that men (Fred) and dinosaurs (Dino) lived on earth at the same time. What a sly nod to intelligent design!

I am just beginning to think about this and my new career. If you guys have any good ideas for campaign songs, please let me know.

Oh, after we named all the famous Canadians, we would go onto famous Belgians. That was way harder.

Jacque Brel, Rene Magritte, the Singing Nun….

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