One thing he doesn’t have yet, however, is the Democratic nomination. He’s still fighting Senator Hillary Clinton for that. While Clinton is behind in the race, she’s still in the running. If she gets the nomination, all of those artists who have supported Obama — not to mention regular voters — will have to decide whether to follow the Democratic Party line or abandon ship.
“I can’t speculate on what would happen at that time,” said hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, who is putting out a mixtape for Obama with DJ Green Lantern. “But it is very important to me that John McCain, who is not as bad as his predecessor, but I can’t say for sure what he might do, he might blow the world up!” (We’re specialists in Russell-ese here at MTV News, so we’re pretty sure he’s saying it’s important that McCain does not get into the White House.)
Pete Wentz went the oh-so emo route and posted some lyrics on his blog about what he would do. “I quoted that MGMT song where they were like, ‘Let’s move to France and do drugs,’ but that’s probably NOT what I would do,” the Fall Out Boy bassist wrote. If Hillary does get the nomination, Wentz will be taking a closer look before he decides to support her.
“If it is superdelegates, people are going to call bullsh– on it. If she steals delegates, people are going to call bullsh– on it,” he said. “I think I’m always going to vote my conscience, or whatever, when it comes down to it.”
The music industry does have some more dyed-in-the-wool Democrats, including Roots mastermind ?uestlove.
“I’ll vote for Hillary. And I say that without any reservation — even though I am talking really slowly,” he said. “I’m a Democrat.”
For now, ?uest and some of his fellow bandmates are donating a lot of time to the Obama campaign. “We are pretty much at their disposal right now,” he said. “I know that there is a concert planned. I know that Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock are confirmed.” Details for that show are still being hammered out.
Not all of ?uest’s bandmates share his confidence, or exuberance, in the Democratic Party. Black Thought thinks there are a lot of Obama supporters who will simply stay home in November if Clinton is on the ticket.
“Maybe more Americans are able to identify with Obama than Hillary. He’s multiracial, he’s lived the immigrant experience,” he said. “This is the first time a lot of people have even felt it was important to vote, and that is solely because of the hope they get from Barack Obama. So if he didn’t win, I don’t think it would be important for a lot of people.”
One in six Obama supporters said they would stay home in November if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Party nominee, according to a CNN/ Opinion Research poll released March 27. The same number of Clinton supporters said the same thing about an Obama candidacy. And how about this? Twenty-eight percent of Obama backers said they’ll support presumptive Republican nominee John McCain if Clinton gets the nod. On the flip side, 32 percent of Clinton backers said the same thing, according to a Pew Research poll also released March 27.
“That would be cutting off your nose to spite your face,” said R.E.M.’s Mike Mills. “That would just be insanity. We’ve got to change. I don’t think Hillary would change it as much as Obama, but you’ve still got to get somebody aside from a Republican in there.”
Don’t worry, Mike, we still have seven months until the general election. That’s plenty of time for Democrats to get behind one candidate — or not. It’s also plenty of time for countless numbers of polls to come out.
R.E.M. have seen their fair share of political polls and presidential elections. Frontman Michael Stipe had been a longtime Clinton ally, but this time around, he is getting behind Obama.
“I’m really thrilled about voting for someone younger than me,” Stipe said. “I’m really excited to see what the generation below us and just below that might do with a president who is younger than me.”
But the typically outspoken singer didn’t say much more than that. “It might be better for Obama’s run for the presidency if I shut up.”
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