Last week, former U.S. president Bruce Springsteen announced his endorsement of Senator Barack Obama’s bid for the White House. While this, at first, seems like a fine gesture, it begs the question: what the hell took you so long, Boss? Less than a week away from the Pennsylvania primary—inarguably the final important primary of the Democratic race—is when now decide to go public with your Obambi-crush? Heck, Oprah was on that bandwagon months ago!
Of course, when it comes to covering your own ass, your timing couldn’t be more impeccable; your beloved home state of New Jersey already handed a primary victory to Obama’s rival, Senator Hillary Rodham-Clinton. The residents of Asbury Park can’t blame you for wielding your fame in the op-ed pages since its already too late. Just whom are you hoping to influence at such a late stage? All those “bitter” auto-workers forced to cross the state line everyday to work at the Jersey plants? Unfortunately, those folks threw their cassette copy of The River out the car window as soon as you planted your ass on the cover of Born in the U.S.A.So, maybe you’re late, your timing a little off. After all, in the bloggy up-to-the-minute world of nu-politics, there’s nothing like holding out till the last possible second. Then again, at least your endorsement means its coming from an American. The Arcade Fire thought their divine presence could lend Obama the help he needed back in the Ohio primary. Unfortunately, the people of Cleveland are not the type to be swayed by a dozen Canadians behaving like chimps in an old Croatian social hall. (Give them former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar, however, and that’s another story.) At the very least, the Reverb Editorial Board feels an endorsement from The Boss brightens up the otherwise dismal list of celebrity endorsements. Sure, Obama can claim the support of Kim Gordon, Wyclef Jean, Pearl Jam, and Conor Oberst (is Bright Eyes old enough to vote?) But can Obama truly be proud of endorsements from Melissa Etheridge, Bob Weir, Jay Jay French of Twisted Sister, John Legend, and (gulp) The Goo Goo Dolls? This is to say nothing of a certain helium-voiced harpist fond of wearing animal carcasses for headdresses.
It’s been proven that celebrity endorsements mean very little in the way of votes. In the end, it’s nothing more than glitter. Not even Oprah has had much of an impact on Obama’s campaign. But if one takes a serious look at these things, Hillary Clinton probably has the only celebrity endorsement that’s worth a damn: country legend Merle Haggard. Because if there’s one thing Haggard has made clear over the years, you do not want to be on his “fightin’ side.”