Mellencamp lashes out at John McCain

LAST UPDATED AT 08:56 ON Wed 6 Feb 2008

John McCain isn't only in trouble with right-wing American pundits who believe he is not Republican enough to take his party's nomination - see Alexander Cockburn's column in The First Post today - he's also in trouble with an old rocker. McCain has been using songs by John Mellencamp, such as Our Country and Pink Houses, to rouse the crowds at his campaign events - but Mellencamp is an ardent Democrat who supported John Edwards during the early primaries, before Edwards dropped out of the race. According to Rolling Stone,  representatives of Mellencamp have ordered McCain staffers to desist.

McCain is in good company: in 1984 the Ronald Reagan re-election campaign briefly used Born in the USA, an anti-Vietnam War song, as a campaign rouser, without permission, until Bruce Springsteen, a lifelong Democrat, insisted that they stop. Reagan went on to win the 84 election against Walter Mondale by a landslide, taking 49 out of 50 states.

On the other side of the aisle, Democratic candidate Barack Obama has used Only in America by the Country & Western duo Brooks and Dunn, although Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn were supporters of President Bush in 2004. Obama's current campaign theme song, however, is Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Stevie Wonder, a keen Obama supporter. While it may have been inspirational, nothing was signed, sealed or delivered on Super Tuesday.

Hillary Clinton plays it safe. Her official song was chosen by fans during an online contest last year: Celine Dion's You and I. · 

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