The Democrats’ Favorite Balladeer

If anything, this post is testament to how slow the past few days have been, but I happened to be in Boston this week for the 4th of July festivities, and as I listened to John Mellencamp’s pre-fireworks performance (with the Boston Pops), a political thought entered my mind:

Is “This is Our Country” becoming for Democrats what “God Bless the U.S.A” is for the GOP?

OK, so the Boston 4th of July celebration isn’t a political event (although some might say that any mass gathering of people in Massachusetts qualifies as a Democratic convention), but Mellencamp is an avowed Democrat, as his FEC report attests.  And his party is in need of its own flag-waving anthem, something to counter “God Bless the USA,” the Lee Greenwood song that is now as mandatory at Republican events as a Reagan tribute.  (Not that Greenwood, a Republican donor, has any qualms about this.)

Anyway, while watching thousands of New Englanders draped in patriotic cloths swaying to Mellencamp’s tune on Wednesday night, I was reminded of the emotional response – captured by all of the cable news networks – of the 2004 GOP convention delegates when Greenwood took their stage in primetime.  For a party that was playing the we-love-America-more-than-our-opponents card, the images were perfect.

Mellencamp (along with many other big-name musicians) has performed at past Democratic conventions.  But something tells me that, in Denver in 2008, the party may ask him to play the Lee Greenwood role.