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Why Bruce Springsteen Got To Ride On Air Force One

November 5, 2012

Tomorrow is Election Day in the United States. President Barack Obama is running for reelection. Mitt Romney is his Republican opponent.

Rocker Bruce Springsteen is campaigning for President Obama. He also campaigned for Obama in 2008.

Today I read that Springsteen accompanied Obama to all his last-minute campaign rallies on Air Force One, the President of the United States’ official aircraft. I laughed because it reminded me of an illustration I did for Crawdaddy! Magazine back in 2009. It was for a story on the top 5 developments in music¬†(with an emphasis on rock music) during 2000-2010, the first decade of the 21st century.

Here’s the final.

cartoon illustration for rock and roll music oriented Crawdaddy Magazine for story about top 5 hottest trends and developments in popular music during 2000-2010 first decade of 21st century

What were these Top 5 developments? According to the story’s author, they were:

1. musicians volunteering to raise money for the victims of the 9-11 terrorist attacks

2. musicians’ embrace of Twitter to communicate directly with their fans

3. the development of internet radio, Pandora being one such example

4. the .mp3 file, and the threat posed to the music industry by unauthorized downloads

5. rock musicians’ embrace of then candidate Obama during the 2008 campaign

The article singled out Springsteen as a fervent Obama supporter, disposed to use his musical celebrity to help deliver the youth vote to Obama in the 2008 election. Here’s a detail image of Springsteen pledging his support, which may help explain why he got to ride around with the President on Air Force One today.

detail image of cartoon illustration for rock and roll music oriented Crawdaddy Magazine for story about top 5 hottest trends and developments in popular music during 2000-2010 first decade of 21st century showing Bruce Springsteen kissing Barack Obama's ass

What do you think? Do rock musicians have special insight into policy issues? Would you vote for someone just because that person was endorsed by a celebrity? Hope you’ll leave a comment.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

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Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

Adele Sings, Attorney General Sweeps & Everybody Needs A Remote Flusher

Paula Deen, Twinkies, And The National Debt 

Eating Peas, Kicking The Can, And The Road Not Taken


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21 Comments leave one →
  1. November 5, 2012 10:46 PM

    I put no stock in celebrity endorsements. I will consider endorsements from friends IF and only IF they can actually articulate their reasons with clarity and logic. Then I decide for myself based on my own research and homework.

    • November 6, 2012 12:28 PM

      Many thanks for stopping by. Your comment gave me a terrific lift, and I mean that sincerely. I really like and admire your “articulation test” for friends. You’re so right: ideological fervor is one thing, making a sound logical case quite another. If everyone did their homework instead of relying on celebrities and talking heads, we’d certainly have a much more informed electorate.

      Thanks for your visit and thoughtful comment. : )

  2. November 6, 2012 12:23 AM

    Hmm. *Do* rock stars have insights into policy issues? Reminds me a bit of when Bono was publicly pushing for First World nations to forgive Third World debts. I remember when he was on the cover of TIME magazine with Bill and Melinda Gates.

    More generally speaking, I’m a bit torn on celebrities (music, movies, media-friendly biz execs, etc.) weighing in on international issues. I think some, like Angelina Jolie, are sincere, and are willing to get to ground level and get their hands busy, dirty, and helpfully involved. Others… others I think are doing it for the publicity, tax breaks, or something at least partially selfish.

    • November 6, 2012 12:40 PM

      The travel writer Paul Theroux, who’s spent a lot of time in Africa, had this to say about Bono:

      “There are probably more annoying things than being hectored about African development by a wealthy Irish rock star in a cowboy hat, but I can’t think of one at the moment”– which made me laugh.

      I appreciate your thoughtful comment and analysis, Jak– thank you! : )

  3. November 6, 2012 11:40 AM

    Hahaha! It’s kind of funny because this picture actually looks like Barack Obama! : )

    • November 6, 2012 12:45 PM

      Ah, it’s delightful to hear your laughter, Lovisa, and I really appreciate your comment– it’s always reassuring to know that someone has recognized one of my caricatures!! : )

      Always nice to see you, thanks so much for your kind support! : )

  4. November 6, 2012 2:47 PM

    LOL! Mark!!! Hahahahaha! Oh you got a laugh out of me today. Gosh that’s a fitting illustration of the illustrious Bruce and the illustrious Obama!! I’m actually surprised that Obama thinks that kids today listen to Bruce Springsteen! And for some reason I just can’t picture Obama listening to Bruce Springsteen. I have noticed however that even though Bruce gets to ride around in Air Force One, Obama doesn’t play Born in the USA at any of his rallies. I guess he might be worried what The Donald would say about that! Ha Ha! I just got such a kick out of this one! :D

    • November 8, 2012 1:21 PM

      Ah, what a rollicking jolly comment, as is your custom– thanks, Linda!!

      Your quip about Obama thinking that kids today listen to Springsteen really made me laugh. Funny thing: pal of mine read the post and told me it was ironic that a 63-year-old guy was being tapped to deliver the “youth vote.” I’d never even thought about how old he was! Now I realize 63 is young where people like you and I are concerned, but let’s face it: Bruce is a geezer!! : P

      Glad you enjoyed it, I certainly enjoyed your comment!! : )

      • November 9, 2012 1:54 PM

        That is so funny about a 63-year old guy being tapped for the youth vote! I know my daughter who is 24 only knows who Bruce Springsteen is from the Saturday Night Episodes where Adam Sandler impersonates him. And even those are old now! :P

  5. November 6, 2012 8:12 PM

    As rock musicians have favored candidates on both sides of the aisle, I’d just be confused by their endorsements. I prefer the time-honored method of being blindfolded and throwing a dart at a board with candidates’ names on it. (Only joking.)
    Love your illustrations and humor. You clearly have an eye for caricature.

    • November 8, 2012 2:09 PM

      Ha! Good thing I wasn’t drinkin’ coffee when I read about your dart board decision-making technique– mighta been a messy accident! : P

      Seems to me 99.9% of rock musicians endorse Democrats. Doesn’t matter who the candidate is, really, it’s just part of their liberal creed. Certain country music artists are famously conservative (Toby Keith, Charlie Daniels), but I think country musicians fall into two camps: mainstream country trends Republican, “alt” country trends Democratic.

      Judy, your good-humored support means a lot– thank you!! : )

  6. Amanda Warman permalink
    November 8, 2012 9:05 AM

    Quite an accurate depiction of the “future” at the time. As you know, working at a college in law enforcement in NH, I get lots of up close and personal access to candidates and their entourage, such as they are. John Edwards arrived with Bonnie Raitt and Peter Coyote in 2008. Of course my photo with Bonnie and Peter was my catch of the century. Edwards seemed distant although his late wife, Elizabeth, and his daughter were endlessly gracious and pleasant.

    John McCain, also a very kind and gracious man (and much taller than I expected), yielded the floor to those who didn’t agree with him – an exercise that spoke to his commitment to the First Amendment – even shushing boo’ing Republicans.

    Biden is definitely a man of the people and spent a lot of time talking with attendees (got a pic with him also) which probably makes his Secret Service detail crazy. Barbara Bush was the same way when I met her in 1992 – a lovely woman.

    Regarding politicians and celebrities – if a celebrity can speak articulately to an issue which he or she believes in (jaklumen’s reference to Angelina Jolie) I’m good with that. And if they want to raise money for people in need whether here (I have family in NJ) or abroad, bless them for committing their time and talents to something larger than themselves. It beats seeing them in court (Lyndsay Lohan, Amanda Bines) for really stupid sh*t..

    Sorry such a long post but as you know Mark, sometimes i have a lot to say – and sometimes it even makes sense I hope.

    • November 8, 2012 2:41 PM

      Delighted to see you, Amanda– thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a thoughtful comment.

      I’m embarrassed to say that it never occurred to me that, as head of security at a New Hampshire college, you’d get to see many candidates and their associates up close and personal. Sounds like you’ve had some very interesting encounters.

      Agreed: celebrities raising money for disaster relief sure beats seeing their booking photos in supermarket tabloids!!

      Really appreciate your comment, it made a lot of sense– thanks.

      Oh– and I suspect some of those people wanted their picture taken with you, ’cause it’s not every day you meet a security chief who also sings opera!! : )

  7. November 9, 2012 10:50 PM

    Great illustration, Mark! I love the little burglar guy with the mp3’s. That was me and my husband! Before all the fallout, we thought Napster was the greatest thing since sliced bread. We weren’t downloading the day’s hits, we were scarfing up songs from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Fun times. :-)

    • November 14, 2012 11:47 AM

      Thanks, Maddie! Must admit, the little burglar guy still makes me laugh. Despite the demise of the original Napster, I suspect there are still a lotta little burglar guys out there, downloading .mp3’s and Lord knows what else… : P

      It’s interesting to read some of the comments on YouTube. There seem to be many teens who prefer 50s and 60s music to today’s pop music. Always encouraging to encounter independent thinkers– which describes you and me to a T, of course… : )

      Thanks so much for your support!!

  8. November 10, 2012 12:09 PM

    Great cartoon! Very funny!!

    • November 14, 2012 11:49 AM

      Many thanks! Wonderful to know an authority like yourself finds my work “fashionable”… : )

      Delightful to see you here! : )

  9. November 10, 2012 6:47 PM

    Music stars are entitled to opinions on any serious matters outside of their art. But unless they read heavily and work directly with the electorate on political/economic issues, I wish the public didn’t go overboard on grabbing onto their public opinion. By the way, kissing the butt comic is funny but direct. Now can you imagine that satiric comic in the executive boardroom of all major corporations and trying to keep a straight face during a meeting?

    • November 18, 2012 7:19 PM

      What?? Do you mean to say that butt-kissing is something that also transpires in the corporate world?? Jean, you shock me, truly… : P

      Many thanks for your kind input, always delighted to see you! : )

  10. November 18, 2012 11:33 AM

    As always, a SPLENDID illustration! Gosh, you’re terrific at this, Mark!!!!
    Re musicians and their views: In the dim past I was a music major (high school and my first 3 years at college) so I know something about the musical mind — well, the way it was in the 1960’s/1970’s, anyway. One of the guys I knew who actually made a career of rock music (and did quite well until he evaporated, as musicians sometimes do) began his career as an organ major who specialized in playing Bach fugues. He was brilliant at it! He wasn’t interested in anything else for the 3 years I knew him. Nothing. If I learned today that he supported any particular candidate in any particular year I’d have to laugh. Someone who magically morphs from Bach to head-banging? Wow! I’d love to know how he arrived at any point of view, esp a political one. But I’d go my own way. :)

    • November 19, 2012 9:17 AM

      What?? You were a music major?? Well, that would explain why I hear beautiful music whenever I look at one of your paintings. Sometimes I hear spritely piccolos, other times 20 or 30 taiko drums, crashing cymbals, Dixieland bands, and once I remember hearing Dueling Violas. Your work is always a total sensory experience!! : )

      That was quite a story about the guy who went from Bach fugues to headbanging rock-n-roller. I think if I were running for office (God help us), I’d try to get him to endorse my opponent… : P

      Thanks a million, Robin– your wonderful comments are vigoroso, scherzando, giocoso, animato, and mucho appreciatoed!! : )

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