Moonlighting in Music, the DC Edition
Ah, music stardom. The sweet, sweet sound of a cheering crowd, the press, the scantily clad ladies, the booze, then late nights. It's exactly like Washington D.C... minus anything in that last sentence that sounded fun.
Still, isn't DC ultimately just a bunch of (uptight, suit-clad) performers looking for fans in all the right (/stodgiest) places? As it turns out, the American dream of finding fame and fans is alive and well in many quarters of the political universe. From albums to muscle tees to harmonicas, politicians from across the political spectrum are doing their best to share their creative spirit and...actual human souls (when applicable).
Here's a list of 10 buttoned-up politicos who either used to or still moonlight as musical arteeeests:
- Bill Clinton - This saxophone solo probably won him the presidency because, let's be honest, George HW Bush never looked this cool a day in his life. (Keep your sunglasses criticisms to yourself, it was the early 90s!)
- Richard Nixon - The classic case of a high-functioning paranoid lunatic who loved to spy on enemies and...loved to tickle those ivories. A renaissance man in a (criminal) class of his own!
- John Kerry - Real Talk: Was John Kerry in a Beatles cover band or is that just what all music art looked like in the 60s?
- The Singing Senators (John Ashcroft, Larry Craig, James Jeffords and Trent Lott) Conservative in more ways than one, this fearless foursome was unafraid of turning back the clock on women's rights AND unwilling to consider the future shame of pictured wearing these matching vests.
- Martin O'Malley - The most famous DILF of the 2016 presidential primary season for a reason. (Those muscle tees are no joke.)
- Mike Huckabee - He might be too bigoted for the country music scene of 2018, but a man can dream.
<li>Lamar Alexander / Tim Kaine - Nothing says "bipartisanship" like the frustrated head of the old-guard GOP and Tim Kaine playing a harmonica (ie the dad jeans of musical instruments).
- Jon Huntsman - Just your local moderate Utah Republican and motorcycle-riding cool cat from the 1930s.
- John Ashcroft - Worthy of its own entry, don't miss Ashcroft's most famous solo performance, 2002's "Let the Eagle Soar." (He wrote it. It shows.)
- Robert Byrd - As the longest-serving senator in US history and Democrat-from-the-dark-era, we can only assume Bryd's fiddle was what helped him work through the times as they were a-changing. After all, he started adulthood as a member of the KKK, headed into middle-age filibustering the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and ended it endorsing Barack Obama for president and getting praise from the NAACP.
Bernie Sanders - We won't call it music, but in Bernie's album of folk classics he certainly lends his patented je ne sais quoi to these tunes. What he doesn't lend is melody. Listen here.
Yes. This his him. Stud.
*While not for music, three presidents and several other politicos have reached one rockstar milestone: they've won Grammy's for their spoken word albums. In addition to the Adeles of the world, this honor also belongs to Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, John F. Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, former Senators Everett Dirksen and Al Franken (won prior to his election), and, of course, the one and only Hillary Clinton (she won when she was First Lady).