Legendary all-American rocker Bruce Springsteen has thrown his red bandanna into the political ring, today endorsing Barack Obama for President on his website. Wrote Bruce:
Like most of you, I've been following the campaign and I have now seen and heard enough to know where I stand. Senator Obama, in my view, is head and shoulders above the rest.
He has the depth, the reflectiveness, and the resilience to be our next President. He speaks to the America I've envisioned in my music for the past 35 years, a generous nation with a citizenry willing to tackle nuanced and complex problems, a country that's interested in its collective destiny and in the potential of its gathered spirit. A place where "...nobody crowds you, and nobody goes it alone."
The endorsement seems to have been prompted by Obama's recent comments about Pennsylvanians being "bitter" and "clinging" to guns and various prejudices, first reported by the Huffington Post — and seems to take a swipe at Hillary Clinton in his endorsement:
At the moment, critics have tried to diminish Senator Obama through the exaggeration of certain of his comments and relationships. While these matters are worthy of some discussion, they have been ripped out of the context and fabric of the man's life and vision, so well described in his excellent book, Dreams of My Father, often in order to distract us from discussing the real issues: war and peace, the fight for economic and racial justice, reaffirming our Constitution, and the protection and enhancement of our environment.
So: Anyone who thinks that Barack Obama doesn't respect his small-town fellow Americans can take it up with the guy who wrote "Born In The U.S.A." (and "Thunder Road," and "The River," and "Backstreets" and "Badlands" and pretty much a zillion classic songs about working-class life in small-town America).
What's interesting about this endorsement from a new media perspective: It went up on the Boss' website. That's where it broke, and from what I can tell we were the third site to pick it up (kudos to you, CBS News and Marc Ambinder). It's going to go huge, obviously, and it's gonna happen before noon (cable news producers are digging up the stock footage now). That's a phenomenon unique to this election cycle, and yet another example of how lightning-fast the news cycle is. It's also a really interesting new wrench to throw into the "bitter" story, which has basically been running unchanged for the past six days — and this completely turns it on its head, making Obama the victim and Clinton the villain for trying to "distract us from discussing the real issues." Look for Springsteen on "Meet The Press" on Sunday. (Oh, my God, Tim would love that. For sure he has an old Boss concert hat to pull out.)
Springsteen, who memorably supported John Kerry in 2004 (i.e. in concert, and every Bruce concert is memorable), seems pretty intent on making his point:
After the terrible damage done over the past eight years, a great American reclamation project needs to be undertaken. I believe that Senator Obama is the best candidate to lead that project and to lead us into the 21st Century with a renewed sense of moral purpose and of ourselves as Americans.
Over here on E Street, we're proud to support Obama for President.
In other words, honey he's got the heart he's got the soul he needs control right now. I smell a collaboration with will.i.am in the offing.
Message From Bruce Springsteen [BruceSpringsteen.net]
p.s. Or, how's this for another Bruce quote for Generation O: "I believe in the love that you gave me, I believe in the faith that can save me." Also from Badlands. Listen here.
p.p.s. Stop the presses! The ultimate Generation O quote, also from Badlands:
Talk about a dream
Try to make it real
You wake up in the night
With a fear so real
Spend your life waiting
For a moment that just don't come
Well, don't waste your time waiting!
Or, in other words, "Yes We Can."