The worst-kept secret in the history of American politics is finally out: Hillary Clinton is running for president. Now comes the first key decision of her campaign: The selection of a campaign theme song.
Why start talking about a song when Clinton has barely had a chance to define her campaign message? The choosing of a song can be a campaign bellwether. In 2008, Clinton made a Titanic miscalculation by selecting the tragically unhip Celine Dion’s “You and I.” Huh? In contrast, Barack Obama’s stump speech inspired will.i.am (along with Scarlett Johansson and others) to create the video “Yes We Can.” Mic drop.
Clinton herself knows better than anyone how a good song can add the right beat to a shaky presidential bid. In 1992, Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” and a rebounding economy helped Bill Clinton become the 42nd President of the United States. (Even so, many joked that the campaign, rocked by rumors of Bill’s unfaithfulness, should have really been “Love the One You’re With.”)
This campaign season has already seen its share of musical sour notes. Sen. Ted Cruz littered his announcement speech with references to John Lennon’s “Imagine,” but then told CBS This Morning that he turned his back on rock after 9/11. A video of Sen. Rand Paul’s campaign kick-off failed to get clearances to use “Shutting Down Detroit” by John Rich and was booted by YouTube.
The Mid consulted its staff musicologists and officially nominate this list of songs that could help Clinton get back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Maestro, please…
1. Katy Perry’s “Roar”: Perry’s already an unabashed fan, having announced on Instagram last winter that she would be happy to write a song for Hillary after reading the former Secretary of State’s bio, Hard Choices. But the pop star’s 2013 hit, a latter-day “I Am Woman,” could do just nicely. Hearing Clinton purr about the “eye of the tiger” might just be enough to keep Elizabeth Warren from entering this campaign jungle.
2. Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off”: Hill could learn a thing or two from Tay-Tay, who dispatches her haters with a velvet Tweet. Only problem? We suspect Clinton’s as good a dancer as Elaine Benes.. Awkward wrist-turns ahead.
3. Elsa/Idina Menzel’s “Let it Go”: There’s more than a passing resemblance between Clinton’s chilly media encounters and the snow queen’s court-side engagements in Annandale. And just like Elsa, we know the past doesn’t bother Hillary, either.
4. Stevie Nick’s “Stand Back”: The Welsh witch has never been more popular, and the echo of picking a Nicks tune ties in nicely with the last successful Clinton White House run. Written by Nicks on the day she was married and inspired by Prince’s “Little Red Corvette,” “Stand Back” is still a showstopper no matter what age you are. Nicks has said even she’s not sure what the song is about, but it always sounds fierce and insistent. And if Clinton wins, she can persuade Stevie to play one of the most beloved Mac songs, “Landslide,” at the inauguration. We’d vote for that.