Tom Petty is pretty upset at presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, and he won’t back down. It seems Bachmann’s campaign has been using Petty’s song, “American Girl,” on her rising star campaign where some polls now have her nearly running neck and neck with front-runner Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination.
As a rule, recording artists generally don’t like candidates using their songs because they may not approve of their political views or else an artist fears that it may send a wrong message to their audience that they support some opinions that might be bad for for business. Bachmann is well known for many pointed jabs at the Gay community or statements supportive of Christian right social conservative political views that Tom Petty might fear are bad for business among his more socially liberal fans.
Many rock artists tend to have very liberal views, while many country artists tend to have much more conservative political views. A politician’s political team usually has to do a little homework to find a song where the artist is a supporter or else doesn’t really mind a campaign using their song because they don’t worry about it hurting their reputation among some fans.
In some cases, some artists don’t want their songs to be used, even if they support a candidate. Sam Moore from the legendary Sam & Dave duo just didn’t want the Obama campaign using “Hold On, I’m Coming” during the 2000 election cycle. John McCain’s campaign faced problems with the group Heart and some other acts such as Jackson Browne when his campaign used their songs.
Bachmann has actually had a weird week despite sharply rising poll numbers. Normally conservative leaning FOX News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace had to issue an apology to her for calling her a “flake” on this past weekend’s show. Then Tom Petty was unhappy at her for using his song. Also today, news came out that Michele Bachmann’s husband had received over $137,000 in Medicaid payments to his mental health clinic for low income patients while his wife has been a vocal opponent of the Medicaid program and is well known Tea Party platform supporter. All of these stories have only served as a distraction for a candidate who’s gaining some real traction among conservative voters as Mitt Romney’s chief rival to win the GOP nomination in 2012. A week earlier, an entertainer at a GOP event in New Orleans was yanked off the stage when he began to tell Michele Bachmann jokes. A Canadian newspaper poked fun at Bachmann today, noting that she confused John Wayne and John Wayne Gacy, yet is surging in the U.S. polls.
Update: Now it seems that one hit wonder band, Katrina And The Waves(remember them from the 1980’s?), have joined Tom Petty in opposing Michele Bachmann’s campaign using their song, “Walking On Sunshine” during some events. God only knows how many other 1980’s one hit wonder artists, who are probably mostly 7-11 employees these days, will soon emerge to oppose Michele Bachmann using one of their songs. Only time will tell…..