(LANCASTER, PA.) - John McCain is an unabashed Abba fan. Mitt Romney likes Roy Orbison and The Eagles. But both of these former rivals for the Republican nomination shared one thing in common when it comes to music: they have featured an almost identical rotation of songs at their campaign rallies.
Having covered the Romney campaign for five months, I eventually reached the point where every note of Rascal Flatts' "Life Is A Highway" and Elvis Presley's "A Little Less Conversation" was as familiar to me as each line of Romney's stump speech. So I couldn't help but feel a bit of déjà vu as I jumped on the McCain-Palin campaign over the past couple of days and was treated to repeated renditions — not only of those two songs — but also Van Halen's "Right Now" and Brooks and Dunn's "Only In America," both of which were staples on the Romney trail.
I realize that certain songs have the ability to excite a crowd better than others (REM's "Everybody Hurts" would probably be a poor choice for any candidate trying to fire up his supporters). But it seems as though the list of acceptable political rally jams may be countable on two hands.
Is there some sort of focus group that has narrowed down the list of appropriate songs to be played at a rally? It's something to think about the next time you're listening to U2's "Beautiful Day."