'A song about cheating': What the GOP candidates’ playlists reveal

'A song about cheating': What the GOP candidates’ playlists reveal

Referencing a recent Politico list of 2024 Republican presidential candidates' favorite music, The Guardian features subeditor and writer Matthew Cantor offered an assessment of the GOP hopefuls' taste.

According to Politico, X — formerly known as Twitter — user Nick Worrall recently wrote, "Make a 20-track comp of your all-time fav tracks, each artist can only feature once. Not the 'best' songs, the ones that bring instant joy the second you hear the first note, the ones that give other people the best insight into what stirs your soul. Share when ready. #20tracks"

Politico writes:

So we sent an email to all the 2024 candidates asking them for their top 20 songs. Not all of them responded, of course, and a few responded with fewer than 20, making us wonder if they're really in it for the long haul. But there's plenty to love, disagree with and wonder about in the lists of those who did. If you think someone's picks can really tell us something about their soul, it's worth wondering what made Chris Christie choose 'Thunder Road' out of all of his beloved Bruce Springsteen's songs — a track about getting older and 'one last chance to make it real.'

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Noting "you can learn a lot about someone from the music they pretend to like," Cantor provides a breakdown of what biotech millionaire Vivek Ramaswamy, ex-South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, scholar and professor Cornell West, former Texas congressman Will Hurd, longtime radio host Larry Elder, and ex-Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson's "playlists tell us."

Also pointing to Christie's music taste, Cantor writes:

To prove his New Jersey credentials – did you know Chris Christie is from New Jersey? He's from New Jersey – he's also chosen the obscure Bon Jovi hit Livin’ on a Prayer. And among the other highlights on his list – which features a truly remarkable number of ageing white guys – is the Eagles' Hotel California, whose tale of self-imprisonment must ring true for any anti-Trump Republican:

And in the master's chambers

They gathered for the feast

They stab it with their steely knives

But they just can't kill the beast

Cantor mentions that Christie and Haley have similar taste, including "a love for the Killers' Mr Brightside," adding that it's "Tough to imagine why a song about cheating, lies and paranoia would appeal to two Republican presidential candidates."

Ramaswamy, Cantor notes that aside from recently paying homage to rapper Eminem by performing "Lose Yourself" at the Iowa State Fair, just to be asked by the emcee to never perform his music again, he "apparently doesn’t know 20 songs: he only submitted eight pieces of music, and one isn't a song – it's Mozart's Rondo Alla Turca, a staple of fifth-grade piano recitals."

READ MORE: Vivek Ramaswamy 'cut loose' to Eminem’s song on a campaign stop — the rapper asked him not to do it again

Cantor points out that Hutchinson — who likes Johnny Cash and Garth Brooks; West, who likes John Coltrane and Aretha Franklin; and Elder, who appreciate Sam Cooke and The Beatles — also failed to provide 20 songs, suggesting "Elder works in radio, so you'd think he might have heard a few songs written after 1992, but apparently none have stirred his soul. To be fair, his list is probably genuine – no focus group would suggest picking two Boyz II Men songs from the same album."

The Guardian's full report is available at this link (subscription required). Politico's report is here.

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