The Presidential Candidate Theme Music Draft

One of the most important decisions any aspiring President can make is choosing the right theme music. And at a DNC meeting last week, the candidates did just that.

John Edwards will borrow John Mellencamp's Chevy jingle "This Is Our Country," which anyone without TiVo has heard roughly nine million times already. His second choice: "HeadOn! Apply Directly to the Forehead!"

Chris Dodd has cornered the Temptations market, snatching up both "Get Ready (Cause Here I Come)" and "Reach Out."

Hillary Clinton chose the reassuring "Right Here, Right Now" by Jesus Jones. Lest anyone think she's not in it to win it, the song's next line states, "There's no other place I want to be." Senator Clinton, perhaps anticipating a lackluster showing in Iowa and New Hampshire, also has dibs on "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" by Bachman Turner Overdrive.

Dennis Kucinich chose "America the Beautiful." Don't get me wrong, I love the song. The Ray Charles version is guaranteed to produce chills. But this is sort of like choosing your teacher as your hero in an elementary school "Who is your hero?" discussion. Or maybe it's not like that at all, and I'm just upset nobody chose "Vote for Me" by Joe Walsh ("A vote for a vote for me!")

Barack Obama did not choose a song, positioning himself firmly as the anti-establishment candidate.

Al Gore has not yet declared his candidacy. He may regret this hesitancy once he learns Mellencamp's latest hit is off the board.

Wesley Clark, who ironically has not yet decided to run, chose the Johnny Cash song "I Won't Back Down." If he does back down, and Obama needs a tune, I assume this goes back into the pool for the next round of the draft.

Chris Radburn—WPA Pool/Getty Images
The Secret Procedure for the Queen's Death
Chris Radburn—WPA Pool/Getty Images
Chris Radburn—WPA Pool/Getty Images

The queen's private secretary will start an urgent phone tree. Parliament will call an emergency session. Commercial radio stations will watch special blue lights flash, then switch to pre-prepared playlists of somber music. As a new video from Half As Interesting relates, the British media and government have been preparing for decades for the death of Queen Elizabeth II—a procedure codenamed "London Bridge is Down."

There's plenty at stake when a British monarch dies. And as the Guardian explains, royal deaths haven't always gone smoothly. When the Queen Mother passed away in 2002, the blue "obit lights" installed at commercial radio stations didn’t come on because someone failed to depress the button fully. That's why it's worth it to practice: As Half as Interesting notes, experts have already signed contracts agreeing to be interviewed upon the queen's death, and several stations have done run-throughs substituting "Mrs. Robinson" for the queen's name.

You can learn more about "London Bridge is Down" by watching the video below—or read the Guardian piece for even more detail, including the plans for her funeral and burial. ("There may be corgis," they note.)

Christie's Images Ltd. 2017
Abraham Lincoln Letter About Slavery Could Fetch $700,000 at Auction
Christie's Images Ltd. 2017
Christie's Images Ltd. 2017

The Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, in which future president Abraham Lincoln spent seven debates discussing the issue of slavery with incumbent U.S. senator Stephen Douglas, paved the way for Lincoln’s eventual ascent to the presidency. Now part of that history can be yours, as the AP reports.

A signed letter from Lincoln to his friend Henry Asbury dated July 31, 1858 explores the “Freeport Question” he would later pose to Douglas during the debates, forcing the senator to publicly choose between two contrasting views related to slavery’s expansion in U.S. territories: whether it should be up to the people or the courts to decide where slavery was legal. (Douglas supported the popular choice argument, but that position was directly counter to the Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision.)

The first page of a letter from Abraham Lincoln to Henry Asbury
Christie's Images Ltd. 2017

In the letter, Lincoln was responding to advice Asbury had sent him on preparing for his next debate with Douglas. Asbury essentially framed the Freeport Question for the politician. In his reply, Lincoln wrote that it was a great question, but would be difficult to get Douglas to answer:

"You shall have hard work to get him directly to the point whether a territorial Legislature has or has not the power to exclude slavery. But if you succeed in bringing him to it, though he will be compelled to say it possesses no such power; he will instantly take ground that slavery can not actually exist in the territories, unless the people desire it, and so give it protective territorial legislation."

Asbury's influence didn't end with the debates. A founder of Illinois's Republican Party, he was the first to suggest that Lincoln should run for president in 1860, and secured him the support of the local party.

The letter, valued at $500,000 to $700,000, is up for sale as part of a books and manuscripts auction that Christie’s will hold on December 5.

[h/t Associated Press]


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