We all know what Tuesday is, but let’s forget about the partisan arguing for a few minutes and remember how music used to play a significant part in a candidate’s campaign.
In recent years, the stories have mostly centered on candidates using an artist’s song without his or consent — and usually, said artist did not share the ideological beliefs of the candidate — but taking a look back, there were some memorable musical campaign moments.
Take a look at some of them and vote for the song you think was most effective in the poll at the end.
Franklin D. Roosevelt: “Happy Days Are Here Again,” by Ben Selvin and the Crooners
Harry Truman: “I’m Just Wild About Harry,” by Eubie Blake (this is the Judy Garland version)
John F. Kennedy, “High Hopes,” by Jimmy Van Heusen and lyrics by Sammy Cahn (this is the specialized Sinatra version)
Jimmy Carter: “Why Not the Best?” by Oscar Brand
Ronald Reagan: “California, Here We Come,” by Buddy DeSylva (here’s the Al Jolson version). [Reagan briefly – and famously – used Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” during a re-election run until Springsteen ordered him to stop.]
George H.W. Bush: “This Land is Your Land,” by Woodie Guthrie
Bill Clinton: “Don’t Stop,” by Fleetwood Mac
Al Gore: “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” by Bachman- Turner Overdrive
George W. Bush: “I Won’t Back Down,” by Tom Petty (that is, until Petty ordered him to stop.)
John McCain: “Take a Chance on Me,” by ABBA
Barack Obama: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours” by Stevie Wonder
Mitt Romney: “Born Free,” by Kid Rock