Pop Rocks: Songs In The Key Of [Presidential] Fail

Poor Michele Bachmann, first the John Wayne/John Wayne Gacy thing, now Tom Petty's piling on as well:

The inaugural music-related strike of the 2012 presidential race comes from Tom Petty, who issued a cease and desist letter to Michele Bachmann's campaign to get her to stop using Petty's 1977 hit "American Girl."

This isn't even the first time Petty has bristled at the idea that somebody from the right borrowed one of his tunes--he issued a similar letter in 2004 when George W. Bush used Petty's "I Won't Back Down" as one of his campaign themes (like Bachmann, Bush complied).

Ever since Bruce Springsteen took umbrage with Ronald Reagan's use of "Born in the U.S.A." during his re-election campaign in 1984, it has become something of a tradition for rock musicians (many of whom, you may have noticed, have views that tend to skew to the left) to publicly disassociate themselves from right-wing candidates who borrow their music.

This is a potential crisis situation for all 2012 candidates. Or would be, if I wasn't here to offer some suggestions for those Presidential hopefuls who might be struggling for an appropriate tune to galvanize their campaigns.

Tim Pawlenty - "Nowhere Man," The Beatles

His campaign is faltering (Pawlenty placed sixth, behind even Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul in the latest polls), in spite of his recent desperate lurch to the right. I imagine McCartney would even take pity on him and let him use the song for free at this point.

Michele Bachmann - "Liar," The Rollins Band

Let's face it, a lack of fancy book learnin' has never been a hindrance to becoming President, so recent gaffes about Paul Revere John Quincy Adams and the Founding Fathers aren't necessarily nonstarters. As Bachmann's campaign gains steam, however, she's going to come under increasing scrutiny for an almost unending stream of out and out bullshit.

Mitt Romney - "The Proud One," The Osmonds

He leads most polls, but there's still an overwhelming feeling that prospective voters would gladly jump ship if a more palatable option (perhaps one without a controversial health care background) came along. Maybe groveling is your best option.

I'm not the proud one, I need you
I'm beggin to you baby, please
You;re the proud one, believe me
This poor man is down on his knees

Jon Huntsman - "As I Am," Dream Theater

How can you not like this guy? He's an avowed prog rock fan who declared a "Dream Theater" day for the state of Utah (June 30, 2007...hey, that's today!), For the candidate still at odds with the conservative wing of his party over his (formerly) moderate stance on civil unions and climate change, consider this his plea to those delegates still on the fence.

Sarah Palin - "Head Like A Hole," Nine Inch Nails

Crazy as it sounds, people might be getting sick of the whole "will she/won't she" jerkaround. Buck up, former semi-Governor of Alaska, we'll always have that Katie Couric interview.

Rick Santorum - "The I-95 Song," Fred 'August' Campbell

There's a reason this is the number one hit when you Google "Santorum."

Ron Paul - "Negative Creep," Nirvana

In all fairness, I have no idea if the Lake Jackson Congressman is a creep or not (he seems more like your conspiracy theorist uncle everybody avoids at reunions). However, Paul definitely has a negative attitude toward federal spending, as his Congressional nickname ("Dr. No") attests.

Newt Gingrich - "O.P.P." Naughty By Nature

Yeah, you know him. Gingrich has blamed his past infidelities on the fact that he loved his country too much and was working too hard. If true, this would make him the first Presidential candidate since William Howard Taft to make laziness a cornerstone of his campaign.

Herman Cain - "Dreaming," Blondie

I admire the guy's spunk (and not in a Santorum sense), but the day the Republican Party nominates a black man for President is the day I order an all-anchovy pizza. From Godfather's.

Rick Perry - "I Think I'm Going Bald," Rush

Perry hasn't officially declared his candidacy. Yet. If he does, he's likely to find the myth of Texas' economic miracle and his cracks about secession may not play well outside of the Lone Star State. Though it would probably be worse for his potential bid if he turned out to be wearing a rug.

Pres. Barack Obama - "The Party's Over," Willie Nelson

A bit premature perhaps, but if 2012 grinds on with a depressed housing market, skyrocketing debt, and unemployment hovering around 9%, well...nice knowing ya.

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