The whole process of elections (from PTA to POTUS) is savage, cut-throat, and -- when we're lucky -- incredibly stupid.
They will shake the hands of thousands of strangers. They will gorge themselves on local cuisine. They will kiss the stinkiest baby. If votes depended on it, a politician would throw his own mother into the path of a moving train. These people are like junkies, fiending after your pledge to vote for them this November.
Of all the completely inane ways that politicians try to appeal to the public, none makes us feel more awkward-slash-awesome than musical appeals. And now that election season is heating up, we thought it would be a good time to assemble the top ten most musical politicians ever.
10. Obama Sings Like Al Green
A list ranking musical politicians is difficult not only because a surprising number of public servants (state, national, international) have all stooped to that level. But also because it's hard to parse the unbelievably dumb from the legitimately good. In the case of Obama's real quick dip into Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" back in January, Crossfade must admit that we not only drank the Kool-Aid, we chugged it until our mouth was overflowing with red drank dripping down our "Yes We Can" fanboy faces. What we're trying to say is we found the President to be cooler than cool. The Chief was ice cold.
9. Mitt Romney Sings Like a Mormon Honky
Obama sings a few bars at the Apollo Theater, and all of a sudden the POTUS has a fucking ringtone and sales of an Al Green song from 1972 skyrocket by 490 percent.
Well, the campaign supporting Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney was probably hoping its candidate would receive a comparable boost by performing a rendition of "America The Beautiful" at a campaign event just 11 days after Barry O's big debut in Harlem. What ol' Mitt's handlers didn't realize was that the Massachusetts governor is an absolute vacuum of cool. The man doesn't have a drop of grace, musical skill, or stage presence. And based on his rushed delivery and the way he goads the audience into joining him, there's no doubt he was pooping his pantaloons.
8. Orrin Hatch Sings About Hanukkah Like a Mormon Honky
Orrin Hatch, a Mormon Republican Senator from Utah, wrote a song about the Jewish festival of lights, Hanukkah, because ... Well, we're not really sure why. But at least it's better (just a little) than Mitt Romney busting out schoolboy patriotic hymns.
Hatch's track made its debut in a video posted on the website for Jewish culture and lifestyle magazine Tablet. And in offering half-explanations for the song's existence, he revealed to the New York Times that "Mormons believe the Jewish people are the chosen people, just like the Old Testament says." Yeah, whatever. We're just waiting for the Senator's tribute to Kwanzaa.
7. Robert Byrd Is More Southern Than a Bowl of Grits
When tapped to perform some bluegrass for peanut farmer Jimmy Carter, Robert Byrd is a purebred Southern gentleman. He takes his jacket off like a smooth operator. He gives a few, soft-spoken shout-outs: Mr. Prez, Mrs. Carter, his own shawty. And he somehow holds it completely together despite being clearly ripped (on moonshine?). Look at the way he holds the mike stand. Dude is seeing pink elephants that are so drunk they're even seeing pink elephants.
6. Condoleeza Rice Plays Piano Very Seriously
God dammit, Condoleeza. Could you be anymore boring? This video isn't even notably bad. We could probably make better jokes about how all those dicks (not just Cheney) spent eight years calling you Condi.
5. Jim Young Kim Dances Like a Pookie Head
Fast-forward the above video of Dartmouth College's recent "Dartmouth Idol" finale to 2:05. The pookie head before you was not only the president of Dartmouth for three years. He was also recently nominated by President Obama to be the head of the World Bank. There's no doubt the Obama administration heard David Guetta loud and clear Sunday night when he asked the masses at Ultra, "Can you see how our music is taking over." The Prez knows that in order to stay relevant in this increasingly idiotic/digital global economy, you need to surround yourself with people who dress like LMFAO.
4. John Ashcroft Sings a Song He Wrote Because George W. Bush Was President and That's Just How Shit Was Back Then
Honestly, we prefer a Mormon senator singing about Jews than this Attorney General singing original material baloney. And by baloney we mean malarky. And by malarky we mean bullshit. Remember, John Ashcroft wanted to cover up the Spirit of Justice's nipples. Anyone with that little sex appeal is not going to be writing songs worth listening to.
3. The Only Thing More Ridiculous Than John Ashcroft's Singing Career is His Band Before He Went Solo
Before Ashcroft was promoted to the office of Attorney General - where he could then a-melodically disassemble the nation's civil liberties - you could tell he was sweating for the spotlight. Johnny must have been waiting for his big break forever: his double-life as a politician and a vocalist dates back to at least the mid-90s, when he was 1/4 of (brace yourself) The Singing Senators. This was an ensemble that also included Trent Lott, who was later forced to resign after comments he made regarding the career of notoriously racist Senator (and Robert Byrd's predecessor, oddly enough) Strom Thurmond.
2 Bill Clinton Shreds His Sax on The Arsenio Hall Show
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SHOW ME HOW
Anyone who was sentient in the 90s has This Moment in Pop Culture tattooed onto their Hippocampus. Wily Bill Clinton was not only a shrewd politician and a greasy lothario: the blackest white leader of the free world also knew how to blow. A saxophone. Quite well, actually. No, seriously. We always repped Clinton's sax skills for the novelty but upon reviewing the footage mofo knew how to shred.
1. Tricky Dick's Piano Concerto
Richard fucking Nixon was apparently an extremely talented pianist and composer. Here he is in 1963 performing his first concerto (WTF) on the Jack Paar show, and joking about how he'd never be able to run for office again after this performance. As usual, Tricky Dick was wrong.