Will Bruce Springsteen step up this election season and get involved with a Democratic candidate or the nominee? I am dubious as to whether he will.
James Oliphant writes on The Swamp that Springsteen “put on a blistering two-hour and 30-minute show” last night in Columbus, Ohio and the “tight set from Springsteen and his E Street Band meant there was little time for Springsteen to do other thing he does best: talk about the state of the nation.”
One concert-goer there in the moderate Midwest said:
“He’s liberal, he’s big into unions and all that,” he told his companion before the show began. “I hope he keeps politics out of it tonight.”
Oliphant notes, “Springsteen did — mostly.”
The only time he ventured into choppy waters was in his intro to the song “Livin’ in the Future,” in which he said that Bush administration policies such as rendition and the denial of habeas corpus to Guantanamo detainees was an attack on the Constitution and the rights of all Americans. That got him applause from, well, about half of the 20,000 people in the arena. (Welcome to the red-blue fault line.) “And I think someone’s been looking at my passport,” he joked.
Springsteen endorsed John Kerry in 2004 (after the Democratic Convention), performed at campaign events right before the general election and allowed Kerry to use “No Surrender,” as his campaign theme. But, Oliphant says, “this time around he hasn’t endorsed either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.”
Perhaps Oliphant doesn’t remember that Springsteen did not get involved with Kerry’s campaign until late in the election season and perhaps he is unaware that Springsteen had never endorsed a candidate before Kerry. Which is why I think Springsteen will sit this one out, at least until after the Convention and the nominee is decided.
Oliphant goes on to say:
This is what Springsteen told USA Today last month:
In the current race, “there are two really good Democratic candidates for president. I admire and respect them both enough to wait and see what happens.”
He did, however, express admiration for Obama, saying: “I always look at my work as trying to measure the distance between American promise and American reality. And I think (Obama’s) inspired a lot of people with that idea: How do you make that distance shorter? How do we create a more humane society? We’ve lived through such ugly times that people want to have a romance with the idea of America again, and I think they need to.
“The hard realities and how things get done are important, too, but if you can effectively convince people that it’s possible to make things better, they get excited,” the 58-year old singer-songwriter said.
Obama, for his part, has mentioned Springsteen as the person he would most like to meet. So, is it possible that Bruce could pull a Bill Richardson and throw a high-profile endorsement Obama’s way as Obama’s supporters seek to put pressure on Clinton to drop from the race for the good of the party?
The only hint Springsteen gave was after “Livin’ in the Future.” Taking a page from a famous 60s folk song, he shouted, “There’s a new wind blowing!”
Then, he launched into the redemptive anthem “The Promised Land,” which includes lyrics such as:
There’s a dark cloud rising from the desert floor
I packed my bags and I’m heading straight into the storm
Gonna be a twister to blow everything down
That ain’t got the faith to stand its ground
Blow away the dreams that tear you apart
Blow away the dreams that break your heart
Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenheartedThe dogs on main street howl,
’cause they understand,
If I could take one moment into my hands
Mister, I ain’t a boy, no, I’m a man,
And I believe in a promised land
I believe in a promised land…
The question remains: Who represents the Promised Land, Clinton or Obama?
Here at The Dem Daily, we lean towards Hillary Clinton representing the “Promised Land” but the fact is either Clinton or Obama will take us to a far better place than John McCain.
My hope, my wish is to see more unity among the party and members of the progressive blogosphere as we still fight out who will become our nominee. My hope, my wish is that we all remember we working towards the progressive vision of the “Promised Land,” by electing a Democrat to the White House. That’s the prize. Let’s keep our eyes on the prize.
The Promised Land: