September 23rd, 2007
11:19 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama grooves to Stevie Wonder and Eminem

Obama said he also dances to the sounds of 'Earth, Wind and Fire' and Beyonce.

CRESTON, Iowa (CNN) - At a middle school in rural Iowa, Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, took questions ranging from illegal immigration to Cuba. But it wasn't until the rope line that he was asked the real hardball of the day:

"Barack, what's your favorite song?" a dance teacher in the crowd yelled.

Signing autographs, Obama looked up.

"Oh, I got so many favorite songs," he said. "Do you want old school or new school?"

"I want your school," she replied.

After thinking it over for about another minute of signing souvenirs and posing for pictures, Obama came up with an answer.

"I tell you what. I can tell you the kinds of stuff that I love dancing to, and that is–I'm sort of of the generation of Stevie Wonder and 'Earth, Wind and Fire,'" he said to a cheer.

"I'm dating myself now," he continued.

"But I'm sort of hip to the younger stuff. You know, like Beyonce's 'Crazy in Love.' That's a good song to dance to. Eminem has a–although he curses sometimes."

-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Iowa
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I'm a Republican – but I like this guy – he is very sincere....still more to the left than I like – but...if he ran against the Republican field – its not a sure bet the Republicans would get my vote...I would need to research further – if Hillary runs....thats a slam dunk – no socialists in the White House

    September 23, 2007 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  2. laurinda,ny

    Oh gheez, he must have a tin ear. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that Hillary prefers the Temptations, Marvin Gaye and Uncle Cracker. A much better choice in music.

    September 23, 2007 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  3. Ben Kegg Texas City, TX

    Gosh there he goes bending to pressure to act more black. Do you believe that he dances to "Crazy in Love"? Nope

    September 23, 2007 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  4. Reggie, Hamburg Germany, N.Y.

    Laurinda it's always easy to criticize someone when they are responding quickly to such a broad topic. However to be honest you must be the one with the "tin" ear. Can you seriously be saying that Stevie Wonder and Earth Wind and Fire are not artist worth listening to. Obama chose artist which coincided with is youth. Hillary being much OLDER chose artist that match her youthful memories. Neither chose badyly or incorrectly in this regard.

    As for the newer artist Obama chose Beyonce very good choice. Uncle Cracker?? Laurinda I don't think the question was "What one hit wonder would you most like to hear".

    Chris you deserve credit for placing common sense and the good of the whole over party.

    September 23, 2007 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  5. Christian, Tampa FL

    Obama's certainly the hippest candidate out of all of them.

    September 23, 2007 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  6. Alex, NJ

    "Oh gheez, he must have a tin ear. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that Hillary prefers the Temptations, Marvin Gaye and Uncle Cracker. A much better choice in music."

    Unfortunately, a better music taste did not translate into better judgement when it came down to the Iraq vote.

    September 23, 2007 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  7. Matt, Sarasota FL

    Uncle Kracker? The child molester? Great musician...

    If you are deciding how to cast your vote based on their favorite musicians, then you ought to be a star in the next documentary about the dumbing down of Americans.

    September 23, 2007 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  8. Miguel, Hope, AK

    Hillary a socialist? I'm not too sure socialists are that in bed with big business. Her husband oversaw the biggest era of free-trade in the US: NAFTA, WTO. I'd doubt many socialists would warm to her.

    September 23, 2007 10:29 am at 10:29 am |

    REPORT THIS! Chris in Conn. is not true to the Republican party. He is sitting on the fence swaying towards Obama. The Republicans are losing their followers.

    September 23, 2007 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. pl. at the UN for a while.

    I am not American. I cannot vote.

    Mr Obama is back on this blog. Also, he is doing his thing in a small town; visibly not in a major city where the crowds are more sophisticated and not likely to ask gossipy questions.

    And we say "cool" not "hip" these days, don't we?

    September 23, 2007 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. trekks, kansas

    I agree Chris, and I am a 2:30 conservtive who is supporting a McCain or Thompson vote, however if we are defeated in the 08 election, I would not be totally dissapointed to see Obama as president. I believe he would have a better chance of getting overall congressional support. Hillary and her socialist entourage would find themselves in a poltical solitary confinement.

    Obviously,our republican stratagists are feeling the heat of the Obama campaign as we are now about to see in Florida: let Hillary take that state in the Primaries as she will be an easy win in the election. Before anyone jumps all over for that statement, click on the "Florida Dems go against party", and sroll through comments to Dave, MD, and then keep reading comments (the next 4-5). This is probably the most informative explantion in clarifying the overall DNC and RNC confusion. Thank you Dave and SB, you saved me a lot of research.

    By the way, anyone who still doubts that CNN is abandoning Hillary for Obama, needs to start paying better attention toupcoming articles on the ticker. I noticed yesterday people were really getting upset with some of mine and other posts, in regards to HRC. We dont have republican sympathizers in the fold, we have a biased News organisation, now leaning towards Obama.

    I would like to appologize to those who found my comments a little overborad. I have NOTHING against the Democratic party, my contempt is with Democratic support of the far liberal left and their lack of discernment.

    September 23, 2007 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. lavelle Rochester,ny

    Instead of talking about his music prefrence. How come CNN isnt talking about the beef between Bin Laden and Pakistan. Before the prime minister dismissed Obama's foriegn policy agenda against bin laden and stricking him. Now that "Big Bin" has thrown some threats his way. Is he kinda pulling back from dismissing Obama's Policy? Before it was naive of Obama and inexperience. But to me that was a huge plus for Obama and its like everyone has forgotten about that! Once again Obama and his team used there judgement and it would work for the American people. When will we see that Obama is the candidate for change and the best for office. He has republican and democratic vote. That is un heard of! HillBill is there own worst enemy. That wont get it done in 08!

    Go Obama "Fired up And Ready to GO!"

    September 23, 2007 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  13. CNN Bias Monitor, Cincinnati, OH

    He said he is hip to younger music, not hip to Beyonce. Don't make it something it's not.

    September 23, 2007 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  14. trekks, kansas

    REPORT THIS! Chris in Conn. is not true to the Republican party. He is sitting on the fence swaying towards Obama. The Republicans are losing their followers.

    Posted By A DEMOCRAT : September 23, 2007 10:48 am
    _______________________________________Check your history bud, Idependents+ are usually still undecided at this point in an election. Chris is simply expressing a sentiment felt by alot of those who sit on the wire.

    You personify the democratic stance that conservatives like myself and others cant stomach. Its a long time before the election and its just as ludicris for to make such an assumption, as it would be to REPORT it, (which if you had bothered to read the entire ticker, CNN has already pulled that one out of the bag)

    September 23, 2007 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  15. Joe, Yorktown, VA

    In this contemporary age of simulacra, Americans are too lazy to research the issues and rely on the media to spoonfeed them data. It's so easy to be misinformed and before you know it, your world is one of absolutes. There's so many great things about each one of the candidates, and at the same time there are things that turn us away. Folks, you have to read up on their voting records and then go to their websites and compare and contrast the information, then decide for yourself.

    I love most of Obama's ideas and positions, but as a person he is even more impressive because he shows a humanity this nation is fast abandoning in favor of a "me" worldview - what is best for "me". While I don't mind reading about what music a presidential candidate listens to, I can see it being very influential on Americans because they are so infused with pop culture. This shouldn't be important to you as an American voter, instead, please go read up on their positions on issues that affect the nation's future and decide for yourself.

    September 23, 2007 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. Fred, Houston Texas

    Obama came into the 08 campaign promising he'll re-invent the Electoral process. Few months into his campaign all we are seeing is a campaign dominated by the most extreme of hatred and insults for a strong woman who has spent the better part of her life forcing action on issues dear to the majority of Americans. It even beats me that even most of those who agree she had a good plan with the Health care program still blame her on it's failure. If Obama came in to make the practice of Politics better than Washington made it, then why is his campaign the major highway of Clintonophobia? Why not push your programmes and ignore the temptation of clinton-bashers? They run down the opinion polls and CNN all the time, Why not ignore the polls and continue hard at work? My guess is because they know they'll lose the nominations. Then some even say they are yet to meet one Clinton supporter in person. Why would they when they only go to Obama's campaign rally? Or are those attending Clinton rallys Ghosts? The Obama thing would soon run out of steam much like Howard Dean did. Americans are smarter than these Hate mongers.

    September 23, 2007 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  17. Kate

    I like how he almost complimented Eminem's music but then thought better of it.

    September 23, 2007 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  18. Kessington, Cleveland, Ohio

    Obama promised a different kind of Politics and that he'll change Washington's attitude to Politics. well it might seem someone would need to remind him especially in the light of his vote on the resolution. How come he stayed on the fence on that issue? This was very important and it takes a politician moulded in the form of Washington insiders to take to the sidelines on such an issue. Hillary voted against the resolution and didn't mind what the GOP would say but Barack tried staying in the middle so that he would later tell us he didn't condemn but the truth is he left the movement in the cold on a day they would have aprreciated his vote. The man isn't man enough to show us where he stands. He failed in the true test of Leadership. He failed to lead on that issue.

    September 23, 2007 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  19. Jim

    I think "Fred" from Houston has my favorite commment so far on the blog. You really should apply to her campaign if your not already on the payroll. HillBilly politics...
    1) Listen to opponents message
    2) Either take the message as your own or call a press conference and respond to "attacks" that don't exist
    3)Blame other party or candidates for going negative, while at the same time you use your campaigners to go behind the scenes and suffocate any bit of dissent.

    Obama, Edwards, Richardson, etc. haven't said crap against Hillary as a human being, as a woman, etc. they only bring up serious issues and point out the differences or how she operates. That isn't fear of strong woman, it's exposing a liar and a manipulator. DON'T DIVIDE TO CONQUER. I would much rather have a moderate Republican than a "Democrat" who is a mindless zombie.... I don't want your political games and I don't want your candidate....If Hillary wins, I don't want the Democratic party anymore either.....

    September 23, 2007 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  20. Ryan McDonald, Santa Cruz, CA

    My guess is that the Eminem tune he meant to mention was "Lose Yourself".

    When I saw him at the Santa Barbara rally, he walked out to McFadden & Whitehead's "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" and then closed to "Galvanize" by Chemical Bros. w/Q-Tip ("don't-hold-back!"). I just think he's drawn to the feelgood vibes.

    Hillary? The only music to her ears would have to be the sound of her own voice and the delusions of grandeur that waft in the air as a result.

    September 23, 2007 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  21. Dan, TX

    I find it amusing how many people clearly prefer ignorance to knowledge. The post by Joe, Yorktown, VA : September 23, 2007 11:34 am was on track.

    Why would a news organization waste its time explaining the positions of the candidates to you? They understand that if you actually cared where the candidates stand – on the vote on Moveon, on the issue of Jena, on health care, that you would go to the candidate's web site and LOOK FOR YOURSELF. You won't get the answers from the news. The news is saying – look, if you really want to know what the candidates policies are, just go to their sites, why should CNN just repeat what is already plainly available to everyone on-line. If you compare the candidates issues statements, if you read the text of their speeches, if you watch the videos, if you read about their endorsements– all of this is on the candidates web sites. Please, educate yourself, then make up YOUR OWN mind. If your too lazy to do educate yourself, you give your power and your rights to others.

    September 23, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  22. Dan, TX

    Also remember he was talking at a Middle School. And CNN didn't ask the question, a music teacher asked.

    September 23, 2007 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  23. Danny, Gainesville, FL

    This is what is great about Obama. He has enough confidence in himself to just be himself. If you asked the Republican candidates at a debate what their favorite song was, they would probably answer "How Great Thou Art" and then get a silly I'm-so-proud-of-myself-for-saying-that-on-national-tv grin. If you asked Hillary what her favorite song was, she would form a committee to create on online poll where people will vote for what her favorite song should be.

    Obama is the only real candidate running. He is the only one that is connected with reality and understands our country.

    September 23, 2007 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  24. Joe, New York, NY

    I'm a moderate Republican but I gotta admit, the freshness and authenticity Obama brings to the table is hard to ignore. If Hillary get's the nomination, I'm definitely going with the GOP but if Obama gets the nomination, I may need to cross party lines this one time.

    September 23, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  25. John Rutledge Oxnard CA

    When I read/see Republicans label Hillary Clinton as a socialist, it makes me wonder if they even know the meaning of the term. Social democratic maybe, but definitely not socialist.

    September 23, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
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