UPDATE: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama

No contest.
No gimmicks.
No hype.
No fanfare.
No bad acting.
No cheesy song.

No cutesy video with the former President of the United States of America in a
sky-blue bowling shirt eating carrot sticks.

No Johnny Sack.

Perhaps not even the Campaign Song. Just a campaign song.

Last night, before a standing-room-only crowd of 2,000, the singer-songwriter Ben Harper
opened for Barack Obama at a late-evening fund-raiser at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York.

Just before he sang the last song of his short set intoducing Obama, Harper told the crowd that
Obama for America had just selected the song -- "Better Way" -- to use in the campaign.

The differences between Harper's song for Obama and Celine Dion's song for Hillary Clinton
speak volumes about substantive differences in the ways each campaign thinks about idealism
and leadership. (Does anyone seriously doubt that Clinton's campaign test-marketed Dion's
little love-ditty for maximum appeal to 35-to-55-year-old women in Middle America?)

Barack Obama doesn't want you to "see [his] love shining like a light."

He doesn't think that "you and [him] were meant to fly higher than
the clouds" and "sail across the sky."

He doesn't ask you to "come with [him]" and feel that the two of you
are "soaring...floating up so high 'cause you and [him] were meant to fly."

He doesn't see you "sailing like a bird high on the wings of love," nor does
he want to "take [you] higher than all the stars above" until you're "burning,
yearning" and "gently turning round and round."

No flying.
No sailing.
No soaring.
No floating.
No clouds.

No burning.
No yearning.

Definitely no wings of love.

Barack Obama's got his feet on the ground.

You can watch the video of Ben Harper's "Better Way"here.

Update [2007-6-25 10:38:10 by horizonr]: Here, for your amusement,
is the original Air Canada TV commercial featuring Clinton's campaign
song. Hillary-ous.

Better Way
I'm a living sunset
Lightning in my bones
Push me to the edge
But my will is stone

'Cause I believe in a better way

Fools will be fools
And wise will be wise
But I will look this world
Straight in the eyes

I believe in a better way
I believe in a better way

What good is a man
Who won't take a stand
What good is a cynic
With no better plan

I believe in a better way
I believe in a better way

Reality is sharp
It cuts at me like a knife
Everyone I know
Is in the fight of their life

And I believe in a better way

Take your face out of your hands
And clear your eyes
You have a right to your dream
And don't be denied

I believe in a better way
I believe in a better way
I believe in a better way

Tags: 2008, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, president (all tags)

Comments

23 Comments

Re: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama

Really? Is this true? I love Ben Harper--that's so cool.

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-23 07:26PM | 0 recs
Re: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama

However, this doesn't go a long way in divorcing our party from the "hippie" image... lol

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-23 07:29PM | 0 recs
Re: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama

Well, there's always Obama Girl...

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-23 07:31PM | 0 recs
Re: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama

Barack has a "hippie image"?

by GeminiMoon 2007-06-24 06:40AM | 0 recs
Re: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama

That's great.  What a difference between him and Hillary.

Sort of off-topic, but there's a great video interview with Obama's brother in law talking about the importance of basketball for Barack and how Michelle's family firmly believes you can tell a lot about a person by how he plays basketball - something I firmly believe as well.  What a difference to have a President who instead of golfing or jogging likes to play a good pickup game of hoops.  

http://video.on.nytimes.com/index.jsp?fr _story=ae07e83f2e95b2341594531e2fe6b25c5 a3f9c1b

by Doug Dilg 2007-06-23 10:16PM | 0 recs
Re: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama

Sheesh- talk about being bitter and jealous over someone's successful song campaign contest.

by reasonwarrior 2007-06-23 11:06PM | 0 recs
Re: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama

Hee, the selection of an Air Canada jingle as campaign theme counts as a success?

by psericks 2007-06-24 03:54AM | 0 recs
Re: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama

The way I see it, one campaign spent tens of thousands of dollars of its supporters' money to film
a couple of silly teaser videos and a badly acted Sopranos knock-off featuring the former President
of the United States of America eating carrot sticks in a sky-blue bowling shirt -- all in a vain effort
to prove to the country that its candidate actually has a sense of humor.

What this candidate's supporters got for their money is a cliched power ballad -- dusted off the shelf
of a Canadian airline's old ad campaign -- that insults the intelligence and sensibilities of every
American voter.

The other campaign simply attracted, with its message, the endorsement and support of a gifted
American singer/songwriter.

What it also got is a song that is superior in every possible way -- starting with the fact that it's
relevant.

Of course, this is what can happen when you believe in yourself and your message enough
to trust the energy that rises up from the grassroots, instead of having to manufacture
energy with VH-1 gimmickry.

"Everybody in America wants to know how it's going to end," the former president
said in that video.

Was he joking?

by horizonr 2007-06-24 08:57AM | 0 recs
Re: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama

Boy, sour grapes galore.  

The song was VOTED ON.   It had the most votes.  Period.  Blame it on Clinton's constituency, more women in the mix than a usual candidate gets.   The problems is that you are simply not 'getting' the phenomenon.    

The song contest was a huge success.  Obama has nothing similar to connect with "regular" Democrats.   This song... not impressed.   I guess since you love this song, our tastes in music are totally different.   I don't care for Celine Dion, but to sell THIS song as a revelation?   You are not kidding, are you?  

by georgep 2007-06-24 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama
Whatever you say, George.
by horizonr 2007-06-24 09:17PM | 0 recs
Re: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama

So, you can honestly say that you LIKE this song?    You think it should be perhaps the official campaign song?   Just asking.

Not that I like Dion myself, but she is hugely popular.  This guy?  Only thing I know about him is that he was singing at a bunch of Ralph Nader shindigs.   With music there is no accounting for someone's taste, so to claim that one song is "better" than the other is awkward at best, but should there not have been a song that people can identify readily, maybe a song with a more catchy kick, more pizazz?  

by georgep 2007-06-25 03:58AM | 0 recs
Re: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama

I did't know the song before it won- someone made a youtube video of it with Clinton images and I think it's WONDERFUL- a great song for the campaign- maybe if people see it with the images- they will have a difference opinion because I REALLY like the choice- here it is-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ionFwC1UU Uw

by reasonwarrior 2007-06-24 09:22PM | 0 recs
Awesome!!!!

Just watched the video.  It's the right message.  It's international.  It's humanitarian.  It's hopeful.  It's very strong.  And it's a call to action.

by noquacks 2007-06-24 07:52AM | 0 recs
Re: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama

I'm sorry but Hillary's "contest" was truly brilliant.  Millions of views on YouTube, probably hundreds of thousands in donations, and lots of hatin' by the Obama crowd.  I think it was pretty successful.

I am glad to read, however, that Obama has a campaign song.

by Vox Populi 2007-06-24 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama

Here's Edwards campaign song:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=2AE847UXu3Q

(I'm just joking Vox)

by Doug Dilg 2007-06-24 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama

And the Obama crowd continues to hate.

by Vox Populi 2007-06-24 09:36AM | 0 recs
Re: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama

That's pretty strong language considering that, in the grand scheme of things, we're supposed to be on the same side.

by noquacks 2007-06-24 11:45AM | 0 recs
Re: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama

Just to be clear -- and as I noted in the diary -- Obama for America has selected "Better Way" to use
in the campaign. I haven't seen any indication yet that OFA intends to use the song exclusively or that
"Better Way" is now The Campaign Song -- although I'd be very happy if it was.

The point of the diary is that Obama's selection sends a very different -- and better -- message about
national idealism and presidential leadership in the wake of Bush than does Clinton's.

by horizonr 2007-06-24 10:15AM | 0 recs
Re: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama

Here's what I voted on for Hillary's Song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Tf_fU8jN 4c

by Vox Populi 2007-06-24 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama

I like the song, but let's not read too much into this. They're just songs. I'm voting against Clinton and for Obama for much more substantial reasons.

by Korha 2007-06-24 11:15AM | 0 recs
Re: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama

A campaign song is one way Obama and Clinton are telegraphing to voters
how they want voters to perceive them and their messages. It's no more
than that -- but it's also no less than that.

That said, there really is no need to suggest that I or anyone else is
going to vote for anyone because of a song.

by horizonr 2007-06-24 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama

If any candidate selected "Teeth Like God's Shoeshine" as their song, I would absolutely vote for them.  

by Baldrick 2007-06-24 01:12PM | 0 recs
Re: A Campaign Song for Barack Obama

Oh please! The last thing we need is Obama the hair shirt candidate. The pious holier than thou act is wearing thin. Did Obama fast for three days and nights before God told him to pick Ben Harper?

by superetendar 2007-06-25 05:21AM | 0 recs

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