In news that surprised absolutely no one, Rick Perry - governor of the great state of Texas for 11 years running - announced his candidacy for Presidency of the United States last weekend. The news of Perry throwing his hat in the ring stole a healthy share of the spotlight from Iowa straw poll winner Michelle Bachmann, and brought the nation one step closer to a terrfiying possibility: An Aggie in the White House.
Presidential campaigns are exhausting affairs, and the issues facing the candidate are numerous indeed. There are potential running mates to vet, skeletons to keep buried, and last but certainly not least, campaign songs to select. Given Perry's aggressive homerism regarding his state of residence, it's possible he might pick a song near and dear to Texans' hearts. Or maybe he'll select something that highlights key planks in his campaign platform.
Like any candidate, Perry must choose wisely. Select the wrong anthem and you run the risk of alienating potential voters or, even worse, angering the person who wrote the song (our advice: don't even think about Bruce Springsteen). Because we called "Perry/Palin 2012" way back in February of '10 (at their "Super Sunday" rally), Rocks Off is here to help with a selection of likely tunes, and the odds their respective singers would let Perry use them for his campaign.
Ray Wylie Hubbard, "Screw You, We're From Texas"
Why It Works: A number of pundits are questioning whether Perry's aggressive Texan posturing might cost him votes among less self-aggrandizing voters. Choosing this classic from our third favorite UNT grad (our sister and Joe Don Baker have to rank higher) would be a sign that Perry isn't going to be pushed around by the liberal media.
Odds The Artist Would Allow It: - Hubbard might suggest "Snake Farm" as an alternative.
The Silhouettes, "Get a Job"
Why It Works: Perry is making Texas' job growth the centerpiece of his campaign. Maybe all a nation mired in 9% unemployment needs is a chirpy doo-wop anthem to get people off their butts and pounding the pavement.
Odds The Artist Would Allow It: 100% - The last member of the group died in 2005.
Dead Kennedys, "Kill the Poor"
Why It Works: Perry likes to trumpet the "Texas miracle" of job creation while ignoring the state's dismal ranking in caring for its children or the poor. Texas ranks at the bottom nationally in everything from education to infant mortality, so at least it'd be an honest assessment.
Odds The Artist Would Allow It: That's tough. Jello Biafra is notoriously contrarian, and might allow it just for shits and grins. Say 30%.
Lyle Lovett, "That's Right (You're Not From Texas)"
Why It Works: The song is a request to all those who don't understand Texas customs or the pride many residents feel in their state. Lovett's wry delivery might be enough to sway skeptics to Perry's camp.
Odds The Artist Would Allow It: Lovett and Perry have similar backgrounds (Lovett's parents raised horses, Perry's were cotton farmers), and both attended Texas A&M. Lovett also performed at both of George W. Bush's inauguration parties. Whether that was out of ideological similarities or because Lovett is a Texan through and through, though, Rocks Off can't say. 50%
Woody Guthrie, "This Land is Your Land"
Why It Works: "Heh heh, just kidding about that secession crack."
Odds The Artist Would Allow It: Guthrie may be long dead, but the Richmond Organization, which holds the rights, sued unfunny digital comedians JibJab for using it during the 2004 campaign. 0%
Ted Nugent, "Stranglehold"
Why It Works: Perry is the longest-serving governor in Texas history, meaning he's had a... stranglehold on the office since 2000.
Odds The Artist Would Allow It: 100%. The Nuge played his pal Perry's 2007 inauguration and performed the "Star-Spangled Banner" at the aforementioned rally in 2010. He's also "giddy" for Obama vs. Perry in 2012.
No word on if he'll sign over "Cat Scratch Fever" to Michelle Bachmann, should she win the nomination.
Soundgarden, "Hand of God"
Why It Works: Honestly, we have no idea if it does. There's a line in there about "The hand of God has got a ring about the size of Texas." Which is a pretty dang big ring.
Odds The Artist Would Allow It: Does Chris Cornell have political leanings? Eh, call it 25%. Grunge doesn't hold up well in Texas' heat.
R.E.M., "Exhuming McCarthy"
Why It Works: Perry's anti-government rhetoric would seem to indicate he'd be against massively intrusive federal laws like the Patriot Act, right? Yeah.
Odds The Artist Would Allow It: Hahahahahahahaha
Tim McGraw, "The Cowboy in Me"
Why It Works: Perry's rural bona-fides are somewhat more authentic than the previous Texan Brushcutter-In-Chief, but not everyone in the country is enamored of the "cowboy" persona.
Odds The Artist Would Allow It: We're going with 0%. McGraw supported Obama in 2008.
MDC, "Church and State"
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Why It Works: Perry participated in a prayer in a public middle school following 9-11 - saying he had "no problem" ignoring the Supreme Court's 1962 ruling - and famously called for the drought-ravaged state to pray for rain earlier this year.
Odds The Artist Would Allow It: See "Kill the Poor" above. Though we can't imagine Dave Dictor having much of a sense of humor about a potential Perry Presidency.