“Those guys didn’t think I would do it. I told you I was going to do it!”
That’s what internet-savvy President Obama said in New York City several months ago after belting out a few lines from Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.” He’s sung at the Apollo and the White House, slow jammed the news, and nominated a Secretary of State in 2008 who pays attention to memes of herself–not to mention responds. He’s up against Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, whose cover of “America the Beautiful” seems about as staged as Vladimir Putin singing ”Blueberry Hill” and can only be described as flat at best. But politicians singing poorly is nothing new, and, although Romney’s tone-deafness is nothing to be proud of, it’s not as cringe-inducing as Margaret Beckett’s, former Foreign Secretary under Tony Blair, cacophony of squeaks, also known as “House of the Rising Sun.”
All of them have yet to top both Bill Clinton’s sax playing abilities and the Canadian PM, Stephen Harper, whose various musical performances include “With a Little Help from my Friends” and “Sweet Caroline.”
Even though this isn’t his first time trying to woo the public with song (he doesn’t want you to know about the recording of him singing “YMCA”), Colin Powell has updated his pop music repertoire for the 21st century. He wants you to “Call Him, Maybe.”
This duet by Powell and Gayle King, the co-host of CBS This Morning, leaves much to be desired: it’s short and ends with Powell’s somewhat awkward departure from the stage as a less-enthused Charlie Rose looks on. Powell’s performance lacks the candor of President Obama’s Al Green cover and the strange authority John Ashcroft exudes during his live performance of “Let the Eagle Soar,” a song written by the former Missouri Senator and U.S. Attorney General himself, at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 2002.
Nevertheless, Powell has elevated himself to to the “elite” club of politicians whose musical missteps, or triumphs, get caught up by Huffington Post and Gawker. It’s certainly not as trying to join the ranks as the Presidents Club, but it’s impossible to debate its uniqueness.
So, welcome back to the club, Colin Powell. We promise we’ll try and forget about you dancing to YMCA while dressed as a construction worker.