July 11th, 2008
01:45 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain opts for easy listening on campaign trail

McCain’s team has been turning to mellow music on the trail.
McCain’s team has been turning to mellow music on the trail.

HUDSON, Wisconsin (CNN) - A presidential campaign stop can sometimes feel like a rock concert. For the John McCain road show this week, they've sounded a little more like an easy listening station.

Barack Obama usually bounds onto stages to the jangly guitar riffs and feel-good lyrics of U2’s “City of Blinding of Lights.” For Hillary Clinton, speakers in high schools gyms from Ohio to Texas to Pennsylvania boomed with upbeat tracks from Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and Dolly Parton that emphasized her working class pitch.

But traveling through the Midwest this week, McCain’s advance staff has apparently been sampling a slightly more low-key soundtrack, comprised of songs you might not find browsing through the “most popular” sections of iTunes or MySpace.

For instance, on Wednesday in southern Ohio, the house music was a steady repetition of muzak, creating a quiet, almost drowsy atmosphere for the voters gathered at Portsmouth High School.

At a town hall the next day in Michigan, the audience again waited patiently for the senator, but this time a soundtrack of smooth jazz wafted out of the speakers and onto the factory floor at Bayloff Stamped Products.

On Friday, at a town hall with women voters, came something a bit more lively: a barbershop quintent that sang old-timey love songs and covered a sentimental ballad by the classical singer Josh Groban.

In an election in which Obama brushes his shoulders off in an homage to Jay-Z, the appearance of five middle-aged crooners huddled around a microphone provided yet another striking, if superficial, demonstration of the generational divide in this presidential race.

Case in point: One of the quintet’s final performances before the candidate appeared was a song called “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” penned by the Tennessee songwriter Beth Slater Whitson in 1910, back when William Howard Taft occupied the White House.

Despite the mostly mellow tones emerging from McCain’s events this week, there were still a handful of up-tempo moments. In fact, the campaign brought things forward somewhat after today’s town hall, blasting a few Reagan-era pop hits like Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” and Van Halen’s “Right Now” as McCain shook hands with audience members.


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. Ranger7

    The old fart has two feet in the rest home.. as it is!!!

    July 11, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  2. David

    McCain is definitely an improvement over Bush. When Bush speaks, I want to bang my head against the wall. When McCain speaks, I just want to take a nap.

    July 11, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  3. AA

    Mitt Romney makes it clear that he is in a different financial category than you. The thing with rich men is they get what ever they want.
    women, money, "high position jobs". Its like another trophy in their cabinet.

    July 11, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. McBush = Nearing the end of an erosion cycle

    I got a hold on you" by Lieberman

    July 11, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  5. Stephen

    Previous poster jen:
    [CNN] Your job is to report the political news not make it!!

    That's where you're wrong. CNN's job is NOT to report the news, that's just the tool they use to do their job. Their job is to make money for their advertisers. If making this into a horse race gets ratings, they are expected to do exactly that.

    If you want someone whose job is to report the news, listen to public radio.

    July 11, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  6. Minnesota against Johnny McSame

    Do not want to strain those eardrums.

    July 11, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. Hispanic For McCain

    Hispanic for McCain. Where are these polls coming from that OBAMA is getting the Latinos votes DON'T THINK SO!!!! Hispanic will vote for McCain. OBAMA is not ready to lead this country especially when he a Fruad, Flip Flops on everything and is NOT for the Latinos period. Just ask the Puertorican and Mexican what OBAMA done for them NOTHING NADA!!!. Hispanic the Latinos community will vote for McCain. McCain will win the Latinos votes in FLA, PA, MI, OH, NM. AZ, NV. TX, CA, and Folks that will decide the Election for McCain. So to all my Latinos people OPEN YOUR EYES Obama is not for US!!!! McCain will be!!! for the Latinos community!!!!

    Hispanic for McCain!!!

    July 11, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  8. scrambler

    Yeah, and that's because he can't talk. Advice to McBush: Turn up your hearing aid way up.

    July 11, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  9. Donkey Party

    This is great news for Herb Alpert and Pat Boone!!!

    July 11, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  10. DN

    This clearly isn't a news story but the blogs are certainly entertaining. So....how about these two for McCain?

    "Flip Flop Summer" - Kenny Chesnea
    "Money" - Pink Floyd

    July 11, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  11. Donkey Party

    Hispanic For McCain July 11th, 2008 5:06 pm ET

    Hispanic for McCain. Where are these polls coming from that OBAMA is getting the Latinos votes DON'T THINK SO!!!! Hispanic will vote for McCain. OBAMA is not ready to lead this country especially when he a Fruad, Flip Flops on everything and is NOT for the Latinos period. Just ask the Puertorican and Mexican what OBAMA done for them NOTHING NADA!!!. Hispanic the Latinos community will vote for McCain. McCain will win the Latinos votes in FLA, PA, MI, OH, NM. AZ, NV. TX, CA, and Folks that will decide the Election for McCain. So to all my Latinos people OPEN YOUR EYES Obama is not for US!!!! McCain will be!!! for the Latinos community!!!!

    Hispanic for McCain!!!
    =======================================================

    I think we've all seen the Holiday Inn Express commercials where after a good nights sleep, the hotel guest does something noteworthy the next day, like perform open heart surgury or land a jumbo jet. With that concept in mind, I think our "Hispanic for McCain" friend here is really just your run of the mill Republican blogger that just got done eating a Gordita and a Soft Taco from Taco Bell...

    July 11, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  12. susangoldbeck monterey ca

    Maybe they should move up the RNConvention? Obama' s stadium speach is going to be very tough for Mr. leisure world to follow. As MCCain himself joked, maybe he could parachute in and then just have atown hall meeting. Problem is, he ususally doesn't recemember what he said on other occasions or how he voted and he certainly cannot think or respond on his feet. The Viagra spectacle made that very clear.

    July 11, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  13. Total Northern California Democrat for Obama

    Poor Grampy. His memory is slow, his music is slow.

    July 11, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  14. ed

    Retirement home ambience

    July 11, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  15. Marc PDX

    McCain is Easy Listening and Obama is Smooth Jazz...

    July 11, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  16. Donald in Orange County

    We know how Hispanic voted for Billary and that didnt work out, So just tell me what has McSleepy done for Ya'll

    NADA

    OPEN YOUR BRAINS

    July 11, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
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