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Emerald Recommends: what the presidential candidates’ campaign songs should be



When it comes to presidential candidates, your public persona is the possibly the most calculated element of your campaign. Finding the perfect song to fit a politician’s brand and image is no easy task. The perfect campaign song must be upbeat, quintessentially American and above all, optimistic – at least, according to a public relations agent.

With the first Democratic presidential candidate debate occurring tonight, we at the Emerald came up with what the 2016 presidential candidates’ theme songs should be, rather than what fits their perfect brand or image.

Carly Fiorina – “0 to 100/The Catch Up” by Drake


Carly Florina is a bit of a surprising success story in the current presidential campaign. First announcing her presidency, many wondered how she would succeed with her recent forced resignation as CEO of HP, after laying off 30,000 employees during her reign.

Nonetheless, even though she originally failed to qualify for a prime-time debate slot, Fiorina’s resilience and determination shot her from the bottom of the political landscape in the polls to top tier.

While maybe not totally fitting to her general brand, Drake’s “0 to 100” is the perfect theme to make a statement and put on a show. Starting from the bottom, Fiorina has arrived.

– Shelby Chapman

Jeb Bush – “Hey Brother” by Avicii


With a last name as infamous as Bush, it’s probably best for Jeb to embrace the label and use it to his advantage if possible. Avicii’s “Hey Brother” is the perfect fit to attract millennials with the upbeat EDM vibes and tongue-in-cheek reference to his bloodline.

– Shelby Chapman

Bonus: “Canciones De Mi Padre” by Linda Ronstadt

Martin O’ Malley – “Don’t you Forget About Me” by Simple Minds



You didn’t think we’d forget about O’Malley, did you? Neither should you. Simple Minds’ 1987 hit “Don’t You Forget About Me” is a trendy new wave nod to The Breakfast Club to appeal to both Baby Boomers and Millennials alike.

– Shelby Chapman

Joe Biden – “It’s Never Too Late” by Three Days Grace


While Biden’s not officially in the race just yet, Three Days Grace’s 2007 single “Never Too Late” speaks for itself.

– Shelby Chapman

Hillary Clinton – “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley


Hillary Clinton is a big fan of girl power anthems, and when it comes to the genre, picking the perfect campaign theme is a hard choice.

While Katy Perry hopes to create the perfect theme song for Clinton, she should deviate from the girl power genre for the time being with some 80s British dance pop.

It’s a song you’ve heard a million times before, and you can’t help but instantly get stoked. It’s been played to death, but when you truly listen to it you realize why. It’s a staple, a stroke of genius unlike any other. Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” is the perfect campaign song for Clinton; she’ll never give up on her determination to become the first female president, and she’ll never give up on your political support. Upbeat, exciting, timeless, Astley’s 1987 hit is the perfect theme for Clinton’s campaign.

– Shelby Chapman

Bonus: “I Can Change” by LCD Soundsystem.

Bernie Sanders – “This Land is Your Land”; Asher Roth’s “I Love College”; “Light My Fire” by The Doors


Bernie Sanders is a lover of socialism and equal opportunity, sp nothing could possibly be a better fit than his very own “This Land is Your Land.” Ripped from his 1987 album We Shall Overcome, his piercing voice is the perfect backdrop for a campaign founded on socialism.

If Sanders ever gets tired of his own voice, he could always use Asher Roth’s 2009 single, “I Love College”. It would suit his policy of access to higher education; especially with his recent “College for All” proposal.

– Shelby Chapman

“Light My Fire” by The Doors


In 1966, when the Doors released “Light My Fire,” Bernie was a recent college graduate and was already active in several antiwar protests against America’s involvement in Vietnam. Come on baby, light my fire. Feel the Bern.

– Emerson Malone

Donald Trump – “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett


While Donald Trump hoped to play Aerosmith’s “Dream On” at campaign events over the course of the rest of his run as he did this summer, Steven Tyler halted the use with a cease-and-desist letter as of Oct. 11.

So what’s a GOP candidate to do when a killer power ballad has been denied use? Maybe something a little less inspiring and a bit more realistic, with all the rock n’ roll flair of 70s-era Aerosmith.

Lambasting Jorge Ramos? Making sweeping, generalizing remarks about Mexicans? A pretty extensive track record of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy while simultaneously boasting about one’s success? Can’t let it get to you. Hold your head up, Donald. You are the very definition of the American success story, according to the objective biography on Trump.com.

Aggressive, loud and not afraid to make an impact, Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” is the perfect fit. The screaming lyrics “I’ve never been afraid of any deviation/And I don’t really care if you think I’m strange/I ain’t gonna change” sum up Trump’s campaign better than any other song could.

Bonus: “GMF” by John Grant; “North American Scum” by LCD Soundsystem; “I’m on a Boat” by the Lonely Island.

– Shelby Chapman and Emerson Malone

Ted Cruz – “Gold On The Ceiling” by The Black Keys

BloombergView reported that Cruz has made $52 million from his Super-PAC in a matter of months. That’s a lot of bacon, especially for someone who fries his bacon on machine guns.

– Emerson Malone

Marco Rubio – “If I Had a Hammer” by Peter, Paul & Mary

The Cuban-American GOP candidate has a different perspective on immigration than his colleagues. Is there any better symbol for integrity, durability, and strength for a candidate than a hammer? No. Think about it: Rubio walks on stage, a hammer in his hands, ready to hammer out love between the brothers and the sisters, aaaallll over this laaaaand.

– Emerson Malone

Chris Christie – “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel


In Sept. 2013, the “Bridgegate” scandal came to light – lanes on George Washington Bridge were closed off, allegedly out of retaliation against Mark Sokolich, the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, for not endorsing Gov. Chris Christie in the 2013 gubernatorial election. The complex plot involved Christie and other political appointees colluding to create some traffic jams. It’s not unlikely the scheme was concocted during a meeting during which someone in the room was humming this 1970 tune.

– Emerson Malone

Paul Ryan – “Baby Elephant Walk” by Lawrence Welk

Ryan already made it clear that he doesn’t want to run for office, but that doesn’t make syncing the audio of Lawrence Welk’s “Baby Elephant Walk” with Ryan approaching the podium at the 2012 Republican National Convention any less fun.

– Emerson Malone

Follow Shelby Chapman on Twitter @ShelbyEm15

Follow Emerson Malone on Twitter @allmalone


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Emerson Malone

Emerson Malone