Back in 2008, Bruce Springsteen threw himself vigorously behind Barack Obama’s campaign. He played small concerts on Obama’s behalf, and then wrote on his personal web site that Obama “speaks to the America I’ve envisioned in my music for the past 35 years, a generous nation with a citizenry willing to tackle nuanced and complex problems, a country that’s interested in its collective destiny and in the potential of its gathered spirit.” Fast forward four years, Springsteen is back at it again, though perhaps with a few more reservations. This summer, he told David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, that he admired Obama “for the health-care bill, for rescuing the automobile industry, for the withdrawal from Iraq, for killing Osama bin Laden.” But, on the flip side, he’s “disappointed in the failure to close Guantánamo and to appoint more champions of economic fairness, and …. an unseemly friendliness toward corporations.” [This is The New Yorker paraphrasing his concerns.] Aloud, he wondered whether he could go out there again:
I did it twice because things were so dire…. It seemed like if I was ever going to spend whatever small political capital I had, that was the moment to do so. But that capital diminishes the more often you do it. While I’m not saying never, and I still like to support the President, you know, it’s something I didn’t do for a long time, and I don’t have plans to be out there every time.
That was in July. But, fast forward to October and November, and we find the Boss stumping again for the president in swing states. Springsteen appeared in Madison Wisconsin today (below) and Charlottesville, VA on October 23. You can watch the six-song acoustic set above, which features “We Take Care Of Our Own,” “Forward, “The River,” “Promised Land,” “No Surrender” and “Thunder Road.”
There’s not much that’s positive about this campaign. Every day when you turn on the TV, we’re reminded of how special interests have corrupted our politic process, all with the blessing of the Supreme Court. But if there’s a silver lining to be found — a free set by the Boss — we’ll take it. Go out and vote tomorrow, no matter which candidate you support. And we’ll see you on the other side.
Everyone’s interests are “special”. Voicing those interests is not a corruption of the political process. To the contrary, it is the foundation upon which our political system rests and, for Mr. Springsteen, it is what gives him the right to speak his mind (regardless of how misguided he may be).
Tiresome Mr. Springsteen.