In the last month or so, President Obama’s re-election campaign has taken a surprising turn. Sure, Bill Clinton did a few appearances with a saxophone back in the day, but no one has seen the likes of this. President Obama is singing! What’s even more surprising is that he seems willing to sing in public . . .into a microphone! And . . . he’s kind of good.
Here he is on January 19th at the Apollo Theater doing a pretty darn sweet little riff on his campaign song, Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together:”
Look how much our Commander in Chief seems to be grooving on his sweet vibes! He nailed it, and he knows it.
Now, in this next clip, the President isn’t quite as smooth singing a little bit of Robert Johnson’s “Sweet Home Chicago” with BB King filling in the riffs between the lyrics. But, he’s not bad. Mick Jagger seems to like it OK. And you can see from the groove in Obama’s step as he and the first lady leave the room, he is digging this new part of his Presidental gig. (Note to the sound man: when the President has the microphone, turn it up!)
As it turns out, the President didn’t just start his singing career with the Al Green riff. He’s been driving crowds wild since at least this Democratic rally in New Jersey in 2007. Check out this clip of the Most Powerful Man in the World vibing on a little Dionne Warwick with his brief take on “Walk on By:”
Or, how about this one from 2008 where the Ruler of the Free World takes on the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin and “Chain of Fools:”
Obviously, there’s an R&B thread to President Obama’s repertoire, and he seems to be drawn to the classics. What do you think will come next? Personally, I’m hoping there’ll be an event in San Francisco just made for a little Otis Redding Dock of the Bay action. What would you like to hear the President sing?