When you're running for president, you need to have campaign money and a solid political platform, but you also need a theme song. And that tripped up one of the Republican candidates, CBS News Political Correspondent Jan Crawford reports.
"You know, there is nothing like a good song to get people fired up at your rallies. But sometimes, that can get the song writer fired up, too," she tells "Early Show" co-anchor Chris Wragge.
Songwriters Milton Ager and Jack Yellen had to be happy when Franklin Roosevelt adopted their 1929 hit, "Happy Days Are Here Again" for his 1932 presidential campaign. Eighty years later, the song is still the unofficial anthem of the Democratic Party.
But candidates and composers don't always make beautiful music together.
Just last week, Tea Party favorite and GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, of Minnesota, pumped up a crowd with liberal rocker Tom Petty's "American Girl."
Apparently, Bachmann doesn't quite fit Petty's vision of that girl. He quickly had his lawyers issue a cease-and-desist notice demanding that the Bachmann camp never trumpet his song again.
"It's almost always Republicans, and almost always a liberal-leaning artist who feels their art is being co-opted with someone they disagree with," said Politico's Congressional Editor, Martin Kady.
And it's a battle that stretches back at least to the '84 campaign. That's when President Reagan locked horns with Bruce Springsteen over the Boss' big hit, "Born in the USA."
In 2009, almost 30 years later, the memory still rankled Springsteen, who told CBS News, "The Reagan administration came in and sort of co-opted, tried to co-opt the song, and misinterpreted it. And so, I was learning very quickly that you had to be aggressive and assert control of your work as best as you could," Springsteen said.
"The Reagan thing was kind of hilarious, because 'Born in the USA' was kind of, actually, not as good a song as it might sound like," points out Rolling Stone magazine Senior Editor Christian Hoard. "It's sort of like a bittersweet tale of like a Vietnam vet who's really got disillusioned and struggled to find his way. So, I think Reagan kind of missed a point on that song."
The last time a candidate and campaign theme really clicked may have been in 1992, when Bill Clinton relentlessly pushed forth the Fleetwood Mac message, "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow."
Petty's music was also preyed on during the 2000 campaign, when George W. Bush blasted Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "I Wont' Back Down" at rallies. One letter to Mr. Bush's lawyers -- and he did.
In 2008, John McCain's camp made a curious musical choice for their candidate's theme -- "Running on Empty" by Jackson Browne. Browne accepted an apology after the campaign was over -- presumably on empty at that point.
According to Crawford, "There's a lesson in all this for candidates -- perhaps, when it comes to their musical choices, the classics are the way to go. Now, Democratic candidates haven't gotten the kind of push-back that Republicans have, since most people in the music industry support Democrats, and I guess they don't really mind when it's a Democrat who's (using) their song."
"Republicans, though, have had better luck with country music. And since a lot of country music is about country and flags and God, it works out pretty well for them."