Candidates Earn Their Hipster Cred

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


deadhead-obama-200.jpgWalking home from work earlier this week, I came across a ginormous crowd outside San Francisco’s Warfield Theater waiting to attend a “Deadheads For Obama” show. Patchouli hung heavy in the air, and radios played jam-band music while eager fans waited to get inside and hear members of the Grateful Dead rock out.

Maybe I live in a cave or something, but I had no idea that the deadhead scene had become politically engaged, let alone caught Obama fever. But they’re not the only ones endorsing candidates:

Hip-hop icon Russell Simmons spoke out against Obama, after the senator claimed that hip-hop lyrics were to blame for Don Imus’ racist rant, and instead gave a thumbs up to Kucinich, who also was endorsed by System of a Down’s lead singer Serj Tankian.

Despite the Simmons diss, Obama’s managed to align himself with arguably more important celebs such as rappers Kanye West and Jay-Z. As my Riff cohort Party Ben pointed out, the Arcade Fire, despite their Canadian-ness, are also on the Obama train, along with folk singer Joan Baez, Dave Matthews and Robert DeNiro, and Wilco and Bright Eyes.

Camp Hillary is getting love from rapper 50 Cent and Perez Hilton, and Quincy Jones, Madonna, Jon Bon Jovi and Tony Bennett.

If these endorsements are any indication, Obama is notches above Clinton in hipster points. But do endorsements from famous people really help? One study says not so much, and while a handful of bloggers (including myself) poke fun at celebs’ presidential picks, we’re still taking notice. And let’s face it, when the Grateful Dead (sans Jerry Garcia) gets “fired up” to vote for Obama and tells a sold-out crowd of die-hard fans to do the same, it must count for something. Obama may prefer his ’60s and ’70s soul tunes, but a deadhead vote is as good as any other.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate