oh the humanity

Obama Attempts to Win Back America With Tiny Musical Moment

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Thursday night at a fundraiser in Harlem, Obama was having a way better time than the Republican candidates, and at one point broke into song, honoring Reverend Al Green, who was at the event. Obama sang “Let’s Stay Together” (indeed) for about six seconds, in the middle looking down at the podium for a reflective pause the way he always does, even apparently while singing. It turns out this is not a one-time occurrence. Back in 2008, Obama sang six seconds of Aretha Franklin, and at a different event while he was Senator, he serenaded Dionne Warwick with six seconds of Dionne Warwick, and advised that if you wanted to charm a lady, you put on a Dionne Warwick record.

Here’s Obama singing the presciently selected Franklin number “Chain of Fools”:

And another choice cut, Warwick’s “Walk On By”:

Lest we forget musical politicians ARE A GREAT IDEA. Obama can’t really top this, but the guy can sing, and he looks a little better giving a brief musical speech than Huntsman does at the keys. Now all we need — to ruin music forever — is for Mitt Romney to show up on Jay Leno playing “The Entertainer” on a french horn. [Talking Points Memo]

About the author

Liz is a writer. She has written for this site, evidently, and also The Awl, The San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, The Economist and others. She is the author of a short story collection, Cover Story.

View all articles by Liz Colville

Comments

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  • comrad_darkness

    Harlem?! Fucking elitist.

    • neiltheblaze

      I bet he took to subway to get there too.

      • widestanceshakedown

        Twas a real bitch getting that teleprompter through the turnstile, too, also as well.

      • jqheywood

        Perhaps, I don't know, maybe the "A" train?

        • WunkRocker

          Saxophone or GTFO.

    • LettucePrey

      Newt will now be calling Barry the "food stamp, R&B singing President."

    • arihaya

      well Harlem is a very, very urban place

    • Dashboard_Jesus

      dude may not be as 'liberal' as me and I ain't happy 'bout everything he done but I DO love this guy, especially when he shows just how fucking authentic, and cool, he really is…sing it Barry! (and this recent photo says it all.. .http://dudelol.com/obama-fist-bumping-white-house-janitor/)

    • horsedreamer_1

      The Globetrotters? More like a Fifth Column.

  • http://wonkette.com/ slowhansolo

    He's got another for the general: "Freddie's Dead."

    • nicnack74

      That's what I said…

  • SorosBot

    It's certainly better than Ashcroft's Let the Eagle Soar (anyone else remember that?)

    • comrad_darkness

      I didn't until you reminded me. Thanks for nothing.

      • gullywompr

        Yep, I had finally forgotten it until just now. We owe you one, SorosBot.

    • freakishlywrong

      Any reference to that shit must be presented thusly:
      ♪Let the eeeeeeeeeegle sooooooooooar♫

    • Not_So_Much

      Horrible. I assume he wrote that tripe while he was in a coma and Andrew Card/Alberto Gonzalez were making him sign the torture memo. Only recourse was to torture our earbones later.

    • Toomush_Infer

      Hey, I was just asking that in the last thread (except, due to dementia, I couldn't remember Ashcrofts' name)…it's like deja vu all over again…

    • Guppy

      I used to, but then I found some gin.

    • http://wonkette.com Chillwillard

      Or Sarah Palin's "Let the Spread Eagle Soar."

      • jqheywood

        There's an image I didn't need…

    • CthuNHu

      Still no match for Romney's "Who Let the Dogs Out."

      • HipHop0Potamus

        Romney-Bot is programmed to sing?

      • horsedreamer_1

        It was more what a peevish og let out in response to being strapped to th roof.

    • Jerri

      It is something I will never forget.

      No matter how hard I try.

    • Pat_Pending

      …"from r-r-r-ROCKYCOAST… to golden shooo-ooo-ooo-ooo-rrr-rrr-rrre…" Man that guy had some pipes. That could only be improved with a little drain cleaner.

      • http://loljazzcatz.blogspot.com/ Chet Kincaid

        That's my favorite part too.

  • http://gratuity.wordpress.com/ Gratuitous World

    too good for "Let the Eagle Soar?!"

    u.p.p.i.t.y.

    • SorosBot

      Jinx!

  • BaldarTFlagass

    I won't be impressed until he throws down a little Barry White.

    • elviouslyqueer

      Great minds, Baldar.

    • LesBontemps

      Better, Dr. Dre.

      • elviouslyqueer

        Even better, 2Pac.

        • horsedreamer_1

          A duet with actual lesbian (I didn't believe it, but I am coming around) Queen Latifah on an update of California Love in support of repealing Prop 8?

    • MozakiBlocks

      Oh, I'm sure he already does…

  • elviouslyqueer

    Oh fine, Barry. But if you really want to put a fork in the GOP, let's hear some Teddy Pendergrass or Barry White.

    • NorthStarSpanx

      Speak for yourself elviouslyqeer, I got pregnant just listening to that, like, eight times today.

  • EatsBabyDingos

    Was he practicing for his minstrel show? He does do the blackface thing pretty well.

    • Negropolis

      Wait, wha?

  • http://zvibleindmeis.tumblr.com/ Spurning Beer

    If Barack put Al on the ticket, I would quit my jobs and volunteer full-time for the campaign. Mr. Green is a treasure and a genius.

    • http://zvibleindmeis.tumblr.com/ Spurning Beer

      Once you go Green, you never go back.

      • ProgressiveInga

        Once you go Green, you never go blah.

        /fixed.

      • Limeylizzie

        I went to his church in Memphis several years ago, it was an amazing experience, especially for a lapsed Catholic English person!

        • http://sickrantorum.com KenLayIsAlive

          Sounds so awesome. Although will is still be church if I can't stop thinking of all the girls who've let me touch them MOSTLY because I had an Al Green record playing?

        • Negropolis

          A Catholic English person? Such a creature thing exists?

          • horsedreamer_1

            Andrew Sullivan Libel.

    • LesBontemps

      Al Green for Secretary of Love; Bootsy Collins for Secretary of Funk. This is the kind of public policy I could really get behind.

      • GOPCrusher

        One Nation Under A Groove.

      • Negropolis

        But, who will be the Secretary of War? Because you just know that Parliament-Funkadelic will want to reclaim it's title as World's Funkiest Government.

  • HempDogbane

    Etta James or GTFO.

    • Dashboard Buddha

      sigh…so long Etta. Thanks for the hat.

    • freakishlywrong

      Uhhh…

    • Negropolis

      Too soon!

  • nounverb911

    Barry, don't quit your day job.

  • http://wonkette.com/ slowhansolo

    Romney strikes me more as a "Classical Gas" kinda guy.

    • Dashboard Buddha

      And of course, Newt is a Me and Mrs. Jones kinda guy.
      (if played on out of tune banjos, that is)

      • http://wonkette.com/ slowhansolo

        Still probably beats Santorum's CreationFest playlist.

        • Dashboard Buddha

          I estimate that the number of Amy Grants songs one can listen to before slipping into a diabetic coma is picking up the CD.

          • elviouslyqueer

            What? No love for Ron Paul? Well, then, allow me!

          • http://sickrantorum.com KenLayIsAlive

            LOL.

          • http://loljazzcatz.blogspot.com/ Chet Kincaid

            The Fifth Dimension?! Too uppity!

          • http://wonkette.com/ slowhansolo

            Anyone else old enough to remember when Amy Grant was actual, non-path-of-least-resistance pop star? (Hint: She sucked then, too, also.)

  • widestanceshakedown

    Somewhere, Sara Benincasa is sliding helplessly out of a chair.

    • http://sickrantorum.com KenLayIsAlive

      What is lubricating that slide, we'll leave to the wonkateer's collective imagination.

      • http://sickrantorum.com KenLayIsAlive

        Also, can I have the chair?

        • Negropolis

          ROTFLMAO!

      • widestanceshakedown

        Given the singular depravity of a wonkateer, no collective imagination is required.

    • SaraJBenincasa

      I seriously lost my shit over this one.

      • Negropolis

        Ha! Long time, no see(?)!

      • horsedreamer_1

        How were the Fleshbot Awards?

  • SudsMcKenzie

    I don't believe Simon didn't like it.

  • Barb

    Etta James died of embarrassment.

  • http://wonkette.com/ weej_bain

    Swanee or gtfo.

    • SudsMcKenzie

      Well, he did bust out "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" earlier in the day at Disney Land.

  • Baconzgood

    Now if we can get Santorum to do a G.G. Allin…

    • http://wonkette.com John Birf Society

      Even GG Allin wouldn't handle Santorum, God rest his putrid soul.

    • Limeylizzie

      Yay!

    • http://sickrantorum.com KenLayIsAlive

      If you mean fucking die, then I'm all for it.

  • CommieLibunatic

    I dunno, he kicked ass at last year's State of the Union Address.

    • Limeylizzie

      That is awesomeness, I love the vile face of Rand Paul.

    • sunmusing

      I wonder if BO will point to that douchbaeg Joe What'shisname and ask him what he thought about CU now.

  • Callyson

    After listening to those idiots and assholes at last night's debate, Obama's baritone is music to my ears whether he is literally singing or not…

    • dinkybossetti

      The people of Philadelphia deny that they were anywhere near a debate in South Carolina last night and insist that you take back this slanderous accusation.

      • Callyson

        I think I will use Mayor Nutter's "idiots and assholes" line for the rest of my life. Fits so many situations.

  • littlebigdaddy

    The whole thing's kind of blah. SC goopers would be appalled.

  • meatlofer

    Harlem? Disney? This Cats got no boundary!

    • chicken_thief

      It's good to be the king!

  • BaldarTFlagass

    I think he oughtta get George Clinton up there on stage for a little Chocolate City.

    Uh, what's happening, BO?
    They still call it the White House
    But that's a temporary condition, too.
    Can you dig it, BO?

  • johnnymeatworth

    Now if he'd only convene the Family Stone as a Cabinet-level organization and do "I Want To Take You Higher…."

    • http://zvibleindmeis.tumblr.com/ Spurning Beer

      BOOM shacka-lacka-lacka BOOM shacka-lacka-lacka

    • http://wonkette.com/ weej_bain

      But they'd never show-up for meetings.

      • johnnymeatworth

        True, but his anti-riot stance would never be questioned again.

  • chicken_thief

    For about $150 bucks or the purchase of 20 of his books, Cain would prolly go on tour with Obama and accompany him in duets. And maybe do some (more) tap dancing, too. Which would be fun, 'cause then we could watch Barry slap him in the back of the head every time he lapsed into his 9-9-9 bullshit.

  • neiltheblaze

    Right, but does he play the sax?

    • Baconzgood

      Tee-Hee

      "Butt Sax"

  • sati_demise

    Why does he always say "I wasnt going to do that"?

    He cannot help himself, has no control over soul music at all.
    He must be possessed.

  • freakishlywrong

    I really don't know how all these people hate this guy. viscerally hate him. What's not to love? He's adorable.

    • Texan_Bulldog

      Think it possibly has something to do with pigmentation. But that's just a guess!

    • Dashboard_Jesus

      amen freakish, I believe the problem is too many uptight white folk got their heads up their collective ass when they oughta be shakin it…if BO and MObama would take a few minutes to get their freak on stage at the Dem National Convention they'd hip-hop all over Willard's poor white Moron ass into 4 mo years in the Black House!

  • BaldarTFlagass

    In response, Newt broke into an impromptu rendition of Sammy Davis' "Candy Man."

    • chicken_thief

      Newt didn't really do justice to the vocals, but it was amazing how he could freeze one eye in place like that.

      • widestanceshakedown

        From many years of being on the lookout for rapidly opening doors and windows while he. . .GAWD, you people are despicable for getting what I mean here.

    • Toomush_Infer

      "Cumma cumma cumma cumma cum cum a cum…." is that right?…

    • http://sickrantorum.com KenLayIsAlive

      And Santorum broke into a rendition of "Tears of a … deeply repressed homosexual GOP candidate".

    • http://loljazzcatz.blogspot.com/ Chet Kincaid

      Billy Crystal could never top this:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxa0-bZ2xsw

  • Dashboard Buddha

    Man…I get my NDAA hatin' going and then he does something cool. Dammit Barry!

    • Dashboard_Jesus

      gotta love the man, despite all his 'flaws' and not bein' as librul as we'd like him to be BO is STILL the coolest dude in any room! haters gotta hate (and the Repigs OWN that) but lovers gotta LOVE…namaste brotha!

      • Dashboard Buddha

        And I bow to you, bro—

  • widestanceshakedown

    "Oh, baby, give me one more chance. . ."

  • C_R_Eature

    Looking forward to hearing him sing "Andy" & "Uncle Remus" with Dweezil & ZPZ next January.

    • doloras

      I'm going to smash the little jockeys on the Newt people's lawn.

      • C_R_Eature

        "Youtube!"

  • flamingpdog

    In response, Newt broke into an impromptu rendition of "Let the kleagle soar!

    (Yeah, yeah, I stole the wording from Baldar, but I had the idea before I saw his post.)

    • http://wonkette.com/ weej_bain

      That's getting to the klux of the matter.

      • LesBontemps

        Yes we klan!

        • jqheywood

          Roulez, mon frere…

  • Dumbedup

    And Romney is now furiously practicing some Apollo style dance steps to try out. Should be good stuff.

  • Joshua Norton

    Move over Janet Jackson. I see a second career for Barry doing Nutrisystem commercials.

  • http://wonkette.com TanzbodenKoenig

    Let The MoTown Soaaaaaaaaarrrrrr

  • MissTaken

    That is one cool cat. Mee-yow!

    • LettucePrey

      Take that, you Republican, anachronistic, flat-toned, strident, non-trendy bunch of old white men!

      • SorosBot

        Can you imagine Mittens or Newt singing? Somehow I don't think it would be charming or tuneful at all.

        • widestanceshakedown

          I'd rather not imagine it, but since you brought it up, Newt would sound like a goose getting barebacked by a broken bottle and Mittens like an old modem about to expire.

  • Texan_Bulldog

    He was in Harlem, eh? Did he ask for some 'motherf***ing iced tea'?

  • freakishlywrong

    Look closely, you can see his running mate, the teleprompter. He's the first president in history that has used one, you know. TOTUS.

  • PsycWench

    And people think Obama doesn't know how the real world works.

  • flamingpdog

    Barry can do all the singing he wants on the campaign trail as long as he promises not to get together with Uncle Joe Biden and do a duet of "Ebony and Ivory".

  • MiniMencken

    If you want to charm the ladies, I was always told, it had to be a Barry White record.

    • Texan_Bulldog

      Seriously. Dionne Warwick…WTH?

    • GOPCrusher

      Johnny Mathis isn't hip anymore?

      • glasspusher

        Chances are…

  • MissTaken

    I give it an 85. It's got a good beat and you can dance to it.

  • BarackMyWorld

    Obama singing copyrighted music?

    Great….the RIAA is probably going to back Romney now.

    • http://sickrantorum.com KenLayIsAlive

      That's why he always keeps it to six seconds?

      • http://loljazzcatz.blogspot.com/ Chet Kincaid

        The Greatest Hits Of Fair Use! 1,200 songs on 2 long-playing CDs!

        • http://sickrantorum.com KenLayIsAlive

          Featuring Al Green's "Let's St…" and Marvin Gaye's "What's Goi…"!

          • http://loljazzcatz.blogspot.com/ Chet Kincaid

            hehehe

  • Terry

    "is for Mitt Romney to show up on Jay Leno playing “The Entertainer” on a french horn. "

    Sure, Mitt can play the French horn but his real talent lies in playing the harpsicord.

    • flamingpdog

      Funny, the Mittbot* always struck me as more of a Moog synthesizer kind of guy.

      *not you, the artist formerly known as Palinz

  • benjo765

    oh Obama, when will you impromptu breakdance for us? I suggest after beating Mittens in November. I know you'll somehow manage to awkwardly make it semi-cool.

  • ProgressiveInga

    Damn! Falsetto Barry makes this lesbo swoon. ♫

  • SayItWithWookies

    Nothing like a little smidgen of soul — certainly better than Rick Santorum erupting into "Jesus Loves Me This I Know" or some other Sunday school tune befitting his mentality and worldview, or Newt singing "Mean Mr. Mustard" under the impression that it's a glowing tribute, or Mitt breaking into one of the Casio organ demo themes.

    • jqheywood

      "Mitt breaking into one of the Casio organ demo themes."

      Yes! At the mall, at the Jordan Kitts next to the Cinnabon….

  • Ducksworthy

    Now close your eyes and imagine Mittens singing. What that? Oh right. He has people to do that for him. They're called the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

  • Toomush_Infer

    This is just…just…Unmerikan…!

  • http://wonkette.com Chillwillard

    But nothing can top Mittens' cover of this timeless classic.

    • fuflans

      oh for fuck's sake.

    • Dashboard_Jesus

      hate to repeat myself but that nice Moron boy gonna need to loosen up that tight white ass o' his

  • Goonemeritus

    “Obama Attempts to Win Back America With Tiny Musical Moment”

    No need you big lug, how could we stay mad at you.

    • http://sickrantorum.com KenLayIsAlive

      Lulz. What a dildo.

  • Guppy
    • jqheywood

      Did ya ever notice how that cowboy looks an awful lot like Rick Perry?

  • BaldarTFlagass

    Also:

    In response, Mitt broke into an impromptu "Navin Johnson" dance.

    • ProgressiveInga

      "The new phone book's here, the new phone book's here!"

    • GOPCrusher

      "I may be sending more money home soon, as my friend Patty is promising me a blow job."

      Seriously, why is this movie not on TV more often?

  • http://whatisawatthedevolution.blogspot.com imissopus

    That thunk you just heard was Malia and Sasha collapsing in embarrassment.

  • BornInATrailer

    Play that over the speakers at Gitmo.

  • OneYieldRegular

    This sets a really bad precedent. Are we now doomed to hear Newt Gingrich sing Lee Greenwood, Mitt Romney break out some Donny Osmond, and Rick Santorum stay true to form by crooning Elton John?

    • chicken_thief

      "crooning" Elton John? I just can't keep up with all these new euphemisms.

  • MozakiBlocks

    Some days it's hard to decided whom I am more jealous of – Barry or Michelle. Sigh.

  • LettucePrey

    Sir, why can't you act more Presidential???

    Here is an example of proper Presidential behavior.

    • Dashboard Buddha

      You know who else did a little jig after a victory?

      • C_R_Eature

        "Mein Gott! How many timez must I szay ziss…zat film vas schpliced!"
        – Al Hilter, Buneos Ares, Argentina

        • Dashboard Buddha

          make a little hate
          do a little jig
          Invade tonight!

          • C_R_Eature

            One actual and many, many virtual Upfists to you!

      • chicken_thief

        Thomas Jefferson?

    • http://sickrantorum.com KenLayIsAlive

      God, I hate that idiot.

    • finallyhappy

      Chevy Chase has the moves!

  • MilwaukeeKent

    Far from me to argue with an Irish bookie:
    http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/01/lets-s

    You go, Barry!

    • GOPCrusher

      Seriously, on a Yahoo comment for the article about Barry being at Disney World, an enlightened commenter quipped "Only blacks are buying this fools garbage anymore."

    • Guppy

      Why, is he going to arrange for the GOP nominee to meet with an 'unfortunate accident?'

  • Barrelhse

    My guess would be: more than 6 seconds and he has to pay royalties.

  • http://sickrantorum.com KenLayIsAlive

    Attempt successful, goddamn it.

    After watching these GOP psychopaths try and out-hate each other, I'm reminded just how cool Barry is. Okay, fine, so he could be way better politically, but at least he isn't those assholes.

  • Left_Leftie

    You know that shit worked on Michelle! And it sure as hell worked on me! ***swoon*** I love our studly President.

  • zappadoo76

    Thursday night at a fundraiser in Harlem… and at one point broke into song.

    Maybe he thinks that's how black people act. They do that in the movies sometimes. You know, like in Porgy and Bess.

    • Negropolis

      Please, just stop, already.

      • zappadoo76

        Quit stalking me. Now.

  • http://strangestoriesaboutsadpeople.blogspot.com/ Thedongsofwar

    Ohoo/ohhhhhoo/ohhhhhooooooooo

  • rickmaci

    Uh, Barry. Not saying you are bad but you'd best be trying to hang on to that day job. Peace out.

  • owhatever

    Newt blows the corn jug because he's got a gangsta beat.

  • PlanetWingNut

    This is proof NoBama hates White Culture…he didn't sing anything from Andy Williams!!!!!!!

    (hope someone recognizes me out there to know this is snark)

  • Poindexter718

    Seems very urban to me.

  • Neoyorquino

    For irony, he could have sung a few lines of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On."

    • http://loljazzcatz.blogspot.com/ Chet Kincaid

      Hehe

  • SaraJBenincasa

    I have never wanted the man more than I do right this very moment.

  • greypanter

    Handsome, athletic, smart, and he can sing like a bird and dance real cool. Holy crap, a talented cool dude who made it in a stiff white man's world.

  • deelzebub

    Sigh

  • Negropolis

    Needz moar Michelle for proper Ashford & Simpson effect.

    BTW, my favorite part is that he apologizes for this as if it were a vice. lol Now, the dancing…that's a whole other thing, let me tell you.

  • Negropolis

    Not be outdone, Mitt has promised to bust out some Andy Williams, and Perry was heard whistling Dixie.

  • horsedreamer_1

    Backstage, Ken Layne was apprehended by Secret Service while in possession of a pot of hot grits.

  • ttommyunger

    Better voice than me, smarter than me, shoots hoops better than me, even bowls better than me, and he sucks at bowling. I want those things in my President.