As it turns out, Barack Obama isn't just competing with Mitt Romney. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Democratic National Committee is having a difficult time booking musical acts for the Democratic National Convention because of MTV. The music television network is airing its Video Music Awards on Sept. 6, the same night Obama will accept the party's nomination for president.
THR stipulates that many performers will eschew the convention in favor of MTV. (Kanye West and Sheryl Crow were among artists who performed for the DNC in 2008.) Currently only Alicia Keys and One Direction are scheduled to appear live on the VMAs, but everyone from Katy Perry and Rihanna to Drake and Carly Rae Jepsen have been nominated for trophies at the ceremony.
It's ironic that MTV is throwing a wrench into the DNC plans, as the network was behind one of its most successful Rock The Vote campaigns during the 2008 election. The youth vote -- voters 18 to 29 -- supported Obama in heavy numbers over Republican candidate John McCain.
“We expected record turnout, and that is what we’re seeing right now,” Heather Smith, a spokeswoman for Rock the Vote, said during the 2008 election. An estimated 24 million youth voters cast a ballot in 2008, up nearly 2.2 million from the 2004 election.
The big turnout has been the source of controversy. As the Washington Times notes, some states -- including Pennsylvania and Florida -- have tried to limit youth voter groups from registering new voters and are not allowing student IDs to serve as proper voter identification.
In a small gesture of deference, MTV will air the VMAs between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. to stay away from Obama's speech, which would likely happen in the 10 p.m. hour on the East Coast.
For more on the scheduling issues, head over to THR.com.