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.

The Democrats’ Favorite Balladeer