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Jon Chattman

Jon Chattman

Posted January 20, 2009 | 01:43 PM (EST)

Promise of a New Day: Obama's in the White House


Paula Abdul gets thrown under the bus every time she slurs her words, tosses out irrational "I love you's" or talks out of turn to Simon Cowell on the Fox freight train American Idol, but there's more to the pop sensation then meets the eye. Long before she sat in between Randy Jackson and the British one-line machine, the pop sensation was an award-winning choreographer, Grammy Award-winning singer, and apparent soothsayer. The latter statement will make heads spin, but it's true. How else would you explain her 1991 anthem "The Promise of a New Day"?

The number one hit song, which was accompanied by music video that played more like a three-minute Prell commercial, was clearly all about Barack Obama taking office in 2009. I don't know how exactly it happened, but Abdul had the foresight to predict the Illinois native's rise to power.

As he takes the oath of office today, let's address the foresight Abdul had some 18 years ago. The song begins with the line "Eagles calling...and he's calling your name...tides are turning bringing winds of change." To take a line from Will Ferrell as James Lipton in a classic Saturday Night Live sketch, these lyrics are quite simply "scrumtulescent." Abdul was clearly telling then legal eagle Obama that he was destined for much larger things. The eagle reference also alludes to the infamous national bird and how Barack would eventually swoop into Washington to spread change to us all. How'd Abdul, who wrote the song with three others, know then what we know now? She must be another Nostradamus...only in very high heels.

As we listen or read on, Abdul's song lyrics continue to ring true. "The promise of a new day...As through time...The earth moves...Under my feet...One step closer...To make love complete...What has the final say...The promise of a new day."

Abdul was noting how the tone of the world would change instantly when Obama came to town. She's telling us that under an Obama presidency, we would become a more united people and a sense of euphoria would take over.

Reading into her words further, one could see how Abdul had the wherewithal to know just how tough times would get under a Bush presidency. Moving on, the next stanza will amaze and bewilder, and drive this point even further... "And so time over time....What will change the world.... See the wisdom....From mistakes in our past...Hear the younger...Generation ask....Why do I feel this way....The promise of a new day."

This is all quite awe-inspiring but truly unexpected if you think about it. Abdul has made a career out of being a forward-thinker. In the late 1980s, she told some dude she was probably dating at the time that she'd be "forever" his "girl." Forever is a long time. In the early 1990s, she told some other guy to "rush, rush" after her love. What's the hurry? Well, Abdul is always thinking ahead. Just last year, her "comeback" single urged us to "dance like there's no tomorrow." The song was essentially saying to live each day like it's your last just in case there is, indeed, no tomorrow. Well, that song isn't so much looking ahead, but it is sound advice.

In any event, tomorrow is today. Obama's in the White House, and Abdul put him there... subconsciously anyway. Instead of waiting for her next slip up on "American Idol," let's take time to praise Abdul and acknowledge her "Medium" abilities.Last time I checked, M.C. Skat Kat wasn't doing anything half as special. Bottomline: "The Promise of a New Day" should flood the Oval Office speakers today and every day.