Monday, October 6, 2008

The Boss Sprinkles Some Stardust on the Hopey-Changey Tour

Bruce Springsteen played at an Obama voter registration rally in Philadelphia, dubbed Vote for Change.

I've spent 35 years writing about America, its people, and the meaning of
the American Promise. The Promise that was handed down to us, right here in this city from our founding fathers, with one instruction: Do your best to make these
things real: opportunity, equality, social and economic justice, a fair shake for all of our citizens, the American idea, as a positive influence, around the world for a more just and peaceful existence. These are the things that give our lives hope, shape, and meaning. They are the ties that bind us together and give us faith in our contract with one another.

The full transcription of Springsteen's rally talk may be found at The Huffington Post. Or, you could just see it for yourself here.

Okay, so it's kinda cool to have Bruce Springsteen speak and play on your behalf.

Yet, if anything, this episode just accentuates one of the abject inequalities of American political culture. Let's call it the "Celebrity Deficit." If you're a Democrat with a name like ... oh, let's just say Obama, then you will be blessed with the embarrassment of riches when it comes to celebrity endorsements. Today, it may be Springsteen or Billy Joel; last week, maybe Barbara Streisand. Need a campaign film made? Just give Steven Spielberg a call. Hold a rally in Los Angeles and, well, the audience will look like a "who's who" of the folks who audiences usually come to see.

But if you're a Republican with a name like ... oh, I dunno, let's just say McCain, then it's a different story. Maybe you can lease a guy like Chuck Norris from a fella named Huckabee. Maybe you can manufacture the magic by bringing a fresh-faced, whirl-wind governor from a small remote state to shake things up. Maybe that fresh-faced governor can close the "Celebrity Deficit" by attracting ... oh, maybe actor John Voigt. (Of course, this all begs the question: Where's Schwartzenegger?)

Still, the scales remain unbalanced, and the "Celebrity Deficit" shows no signs of abating. What is it ... three against one on "The View" (not that I ever watch that, of course).

h/t Clare (from an email)

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