Springsteen as POTUS-maker?

I was going to write a post on this subject, given Bruce’s support of President Obama’s reelection campaign in performances throughout the swing states.  I would even have mentioned his contribution of surely the worst campaign song ever, “Forward.”  And Bruce was riding around with the president on Air Force One.  Adele and Doug Springsteen’s boy from Freehold, New Jersey, on Air Force One. You gotta love it.

But given some of the articles written since the election, I don’t need to give Mr Springsteen credit for electing a president.  Others have already done that.  

First Timothy Egan in the NY Times blog, Campaign Stops, wrote on Election Day +1 — “The Boss Delivers the White House.”  http://j.mp/SB6Whu   I tweeted “The Boss (Mr Springsteen to you) was the real kingmaker in the presidential election, says Tim Egan. Sweet 

Egan points out that Chris Christie, a longtime Springsteen fan whose love was unrequited, played extra-nice with the President during Superstorm Sandy because he “was really after a chance to meet Springsteen. That he would do anything, even kill the momentum of his party’s nominee, for a bromance with Jersey’s favorite son…. Sure enough, on Monday, during his now-daily call to Christie, the president handed the phone off to Springsteen. The governor may never clean that ear again.”

Then Ron Rosenbaum, a serious writer whose work on Shakespeare, Hitler and agnosticism I admire, wrote “How Bruce Springsteen Elected Barack Obama” in Slate a few days later.  http://slate.me/SW3fmC

Rosenbaum wrote: “Springsteen’s contribution to Obama’s victory has been, I believe, underrecognized and underappreciated. So think of this as a personal thank you to Bruce. He’s a figure I’ve loved and struggled with for a long time. (I love the mixture of dread and exhilaration his music evokes …. And so I was stunned by the fateful confluence of Sandy and Christie and Bruce and Barack just days before the election—a confluence that may well have decided the election. I started thinking about this on a kind of mythic level when the narrative of Sandy’s political effect (as opposed to its tragic, shore-level devastations) began to unfold. Is it not one of the weirdest coincidences that this wicked hurricane was given the name Sandy before anyone knew it was destined to virtually target and devastate the Jersey shore? A Jersey shore whose pre-Snooki muse was an elusive boardwalk goddess named Sandy, immortalized in the Springsteen song “Fourth of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)?”

And now Esquire Magazine has named Bruce one of its Americans of the Year 2012.  I’m beginning to worry that he’s headed for sainthood or at least a Springsteen-for-Senator committee.


Esquire introduces this article thus: “They flew to the far reaches of space and brought baseball to the poorest slums of Haiti. They broke world records in London and achieved the impossible at home. They epitomize — in their will, drive, compassion, and humor — the best of America.” http://bit.ly/Wg5tTs


Tom Chiarella writes the article, titled “Bruce Springsteen: The Last Protest Singer.” About the album Wrecking Ball, he says “… it’s an honest-to-Daniel protest album. Springsteen accosts banks for breaking the public trust. He declares compassion a national priority. He notes, as ever, the death of cities like the one I grew up in. Crushed and pissed-off narrators issue calls to burn and murder. It’s the album of the year — forget Adele, forget Beyoncé, forget those Mumford & Sons — not because it sold, but because it sold (not splendidly, but strongly) in spite of what it asked for: a kind of anarchy in search of casting off the recent past. It’s an album on which never forgetting is the only route to forgiveness.” And it turns out that Chiarella went to the Detroit/Auburn Hills concert I went to in April. Chiarella’s article is great and I commend it to my fellow Springsteen fans.


The Esquire Americans of the Year 2012 are listed online now. http://bit.ly/XNxSRd Besides athletes and artists, the list includes Chief Justice John Roberts and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper — and Prince Harry.  So I’ll accept that it’s a semi-serious list and I’m proud  that Springsteen is listed. And sure that he’ll never run for public office.


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