By Jason Diamond / June 11, 2019

Critiquing the 2020 Dem Candidates’ Music Choices

Two candidates walked out to songs by the English punk band

Clash fan Beta O'Rourke (Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images for MoveOn)
Clash fan Beta O'Rourke (Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images for MoveOn)

Are you sick of scrutinizing every little thing about the 2020 election that’s still more than a year away? No, that’s great, because now we can pick apart the music chosen by the endless supply of Democratic candidates as walk-out music at a dinner for the Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame on Sunday.

Lissandra Villa of Time tweeted out the list that, at first glance, doesn’t really say all that much about where the candidates stand on issues. Kamala Harris came out to Mary J. Blige’s “Work That” (good call), Andrew Yang picked Mark Morrison’s “Return of the Mack,” which we can’t really argue with as a stone-cold classic, but not really a presidential song. Bernie Sanders went with “Power to the People,” which isn’t really shocking. Elizabeth Warren went with Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5,” which one only has to imagine will help the surging candidate a little. Who would’t want to be connected to Dolly?

But the big winner was The Clash. Beto O’Rourke and NYC mayor Bill de Blasio both went by tracks from the English punk band. Sort of an odd choice because, yeah, the British thing, but also because it’s The Clash. O’Rourke, going with “Clampdown” and de Blasio going with “Rudie Can’t Fail,” went with songs by one of the most politically outspoken bands ever. While O’Rourke’s pick, “is a pointed and stark account of work in Darwinian capitalist society,” de Blasio’s track is … about Jamaican rude boys. I’m sure there’s some deeper meaning there from noted ska lover de Blasio, but like the point of his candidacy, it’s anybodies guess what that is.

While we can’t really read too into what these songs represent or how any of the candidates plan on leading the country if elected, it does shed some light on who would put what on a mixtape.

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