The 2016 Candidates: What Music Do They Like?


Please don’t let this be your deciding factor.

Issues matter. It is imperative that we stress this. Issues and the policy that will address these issues are where the priority should be placed by a voter, especially one who is undecided. When you vote this year, make sure to keep that in mind. If you’re feeling the Bern on voting day, it better not be because he really likes the band Phish.

With that out of the way, let’s get into what plays in our candidates’ earbuds at the gym every other evening.

Ted Cruz

“Ever since 2001, I listen to country music.”

Senator Ted Cruz seems to be a big fan of country music, but it wasn’t quite always like this. In an interview on “CBS This Morning”, Cruz explained that although he grew up listening to a lot of classic rock, his music tastes did something of a 180 after the September 11th attacks.

“But on 9/11, I didn’t like how rock music responded. And country music collectively, the way they responded, it resonated with me. And I have to say, it just as a gut level — I had an emotional reaction that says, ‘These are my people.’ And so ever since 2001, I listen to country music.”

Ted Cruz didn’t quite explain what exactly rock music’s reaction was and why exactly it was so distasteful. The attacks on September 11th proved to be a call to songwriting action for countless artists, pop, rock, and country alike. One has to remember Alan Jackson‘s “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning.)” or Toby Keith‘s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (the Angry American)“, the latter addressing the tragedy in a true all-American fashion.

One might guess that rock’s potent yet less conservative reaction had a harder time resonating with Cruz, not surprising given his position in the political spectrum both then and now. Regardless of the reason, Ted Cruz is a country boy now! Nothing wrong with that.

Hillary Clinton

“I’m currently into Adele. That is my go-to voice”

It comes as no surprise at all that Madam President is super into Adele. Similarly to Ted Cruz, Clinton also listened to quite a bit of classic rock growing up. This said, Clinton revealed to Mayor Philip Levine of Miami Beach that if she had her own radio show, she’d play classic rock along with “a lot of women singers”.

Clinton also spoke about her strong liking for classical music. Like many people, she explained how the genre has a very great capacity to further productivity throughout the day.

“You’re doing a lot of paperwork. You’re trying to get through it. You don’t have to listen to the lyrics,” she said with a laugh. “It really is a way of taking it all in.”

At this point it seems pretty clear that Hillary Clinton has the music taste of your “fun mom”. When Adele shows up on the radio, she’ll crank the volume up unnecessarily high and sing along, perhaps slurring the words she can’t remember. When it’s time however to get some work done or simply be at peace, that’s when the classical music comes out. Nothing wrong with that.

Bernie Sanders

“[Phish is] one of the great bands, have been one of the great bands in this country.”

We said it earlier and we’ll say it again: Bernie Sanders really likes Phish. Known for their improvisational jam sessions and large cult-following, it honestly isn’t very surprising that Sanders is such a fan. The rock and roll band seems right up Sanders’s revolutionary alley.

More interestingly however, Phish seems to like Sanders a good deal back. In fact, both Sanders and the band seem to have an interesting history supporting one another.

“I moved to Burlington the year he became mayor. I watched his campaign there. I found him to be a very honest person who worked hard to get done the things he said he would. That I have found to be consistent with his entire political career.”

It is an endorsement that doesn’t quite carry the weight of Hilary Clinton’s recent Elton John and Katy Perry endorsements, but it certainly is something. If nothing else, Bernie Sanders is a Phish-head. Nothing wrong with that.

Donald Trump


Why no comment you ask? The answer is simple. It’s honestly anyone’s guess what music Donald Trump likes. Correct us if we’re wrong, but there doesn’t seem to be any record of the man even enjoying music to begin with.

One thing is for sure though. It may be unknown how Donald Trump feels about certain music, but it has become increasingly clear that the music world seems to collectively dislike him. Here are just a few examples:

When announcing his candidacy, Donald Trump used Neil Young‘s “Rockin’ in the Free World” to Young’s immediate disapproval.

Trump soon after used REM‘s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”, prompting frontman Michael Stipe to respond, “Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign.”

The lawyers of Steven Tyler have taken it a step further by sending the Trump campaign a literal cease-and-desist letter asking for him to quit use of the song “Dream On”.

The most recent and popular example however has been the request of Hillary Clinton’s previously mentioned favorite: Adele herself. One would almost guess that perhaps Trump is as much of an Adele fan as Hillary simply with how much he seems to use her music. This said, Adele has taken a vehement stand against the association of her music to his campaign in any form or fashion.

In other words, we’re not sure what music Donald Trump likes. We just know for a fact that the music world seems to not like him very much. Plenty, plenty wrong with that.

So is music taste a good indicator of a candidate’s capacity to run the free world? We don’t really think so. Can it at least be something of an indicator of their character? That we can agree with. And last but not least, where is John Kasich?

Good question. That’s a very good question.

image via Getty Images


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