Jon Sanders

In what Rolling Stone describes as "a bid to win over potential supporters in the under-thirty crowd," and what a certain columnist describes as a "fat, hanging curveball," Sen. Hillary Clinton announced on her campaign web site that she is seeking an official campaign theme song.

In typical Democrat fashion, Clinton controls and limits the choices, offering just two U2 tunes, one Dixie Chicks bit, one Shania Twain twang, a Monkees remake, and four others. But as individuals have shown throughout the history of this great nation, they are more ingenious and capable of aptly satisfying a need or want than any statist politician can imagine. So there's no need for Americans to stick to Clinton's nine choices when there are tens of thousands of possible choices out there.

Several potential theme songs for Clinton's campaign present themselves immediately. Here are a very few:

"Shameless" by Billy Joel (if John Edwards hasn't already claimed it)

"Yakety Yak" by The Coasters (if Sen. Barack Obama hasn't already claimed it)

"Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits (same Edwards disclaimer)

"It's the End of the World As We Know It" by R.E.M. (before Al Gore gets in the race)

"Back in the USSR" by The Beatles (if Rep. Dennis Kucinich hasn't already claimed it)

"Eve of Destruction" by Barry McGuire (Edwards disclaimer)

"Goodbye, House" by Melinda Schneider

"Theme from Kill Bill" by Bernard Herrman (if Rep. Ron Paul hasn't already claimed it; the Republican is, after all, known as "Dr. No" for opposing spending bills)

"Here It Comes Again" by Korn

"I Can't Get No Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones (if Sen. Christopher Dodd hasn't already claimed it)

"Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks (if Sen. Joe Biden hasn't already claimed it)

"(Gonna Be) A World of Hurt" by Drive-By Truckers

"I Don't Want a Job" by Something Corporate (Edwards disclaimer)

Those may not go deeply enough, however. A campaign theme song needs to capture the essence of a candidate with more than just its title. For instance, the Black Eyed Peas song "Shut Up" is attractive because it aptly captures the overall Democrat approach to citizens, critics, inquisitive media, talk radio, blogs, etc. "Shut up / Just shut up / Shut up, shut up, shut up," it begins, modulating to "Shut it up, just shut up / Shut up / Just shut up / Shut up, shut up, shut up" before reaching an early cadence on "Shut it up, just shut up."

Besides, BEP would be more likely to attract the "under-thirty crowd," and unlike the BEP song used by the Kerry/Edwards campaign, "Let's Get Retarded," this one won't require campaign officials to take pains to use the revised version ("Let's Get It Started").

Then again, BEP didn't help Kerry/Ewards, and "Shut Up" is too broad. Clinton's theme should be more Hillary-specific.

Remember, Clinton is the one who in June 2004 opposed tax cuts and instead pledged, "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good." She also declared this past February, "The other day, the oil companies reported the highest profits in the history of the world. I want to take those profits and I want to put them in a strategic energy fund that will begin to fund alternative, smart energy alternatives and technology that will begin to actually move us toward the direction of independence."

Furthermore, Clinton recently described herself as "multilingual" for being able to mimic regional dialects. Her ideal theme song would not only capture Clinton's economic policies but also showcase her linguistic prowess. All the better if it can deliver those with a fetching, upbeat enthusiasm the famously dour candidate lacks.

What song could do all that for the Hillary Clinton campaign? How about The Pipkins' "Gimme Dat Ding"? Here's the chorus:

Oh, gimme dat, gimme dat,

Gimme, gimme, gimme dat,

Gimme dat ding, gimme dat,

Gimme, gimme dat, gimme dat ding,

Gimme dat, gimme, gimme dat,

Gimme, gimme, gimme dat ding!

(Oh, sing it one more time, Mama!)

Oh, gimme dat, gimme dat,

Gimme, gimme, gimme dat,

Gimme dat ding, gimme dat,

Gimme, gimme dat, gimme dat ding,

Gimme dat, gimme, gimme dat,

Gimme, gimme, gimme dat ding!

Seems perfect! But if there's a better one than that, some enterprising American will find it. Let the search begin!


Jon Sanders

Jon Sanders is associate director of research at the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh, N.C.