April 16, 2008

Springsteen's Reason To Believe: Barack Obama

In a letter posted Wednesday on his official website, Bruce Springsteen announced that he is endorsing Democratic Senator Barack Obama for president. “I have now seen enough to know where I stand,” the musician writes. “Senator Obama, in my view, is head and shoulders above the rest.”

A outspoken critic of the current Bush administration, Springsteen notably participated in the 2004 Vote For Change tour – which featured a range of artists including John Fogerty, James Taylor, R.E.M., Bonnie Raitt, Pearl Jam, the Dixie Chicks, John Mellencamp, and Jackson Browne – in support of Democratic Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign.

Yet while he has addressed populist themes and societal struggles in his music for decades, Springsteen has only defined and affirmed his personal political views publicly in recent years.

In expounding on his decision to support Obama in this year’s election, he asserts, “He has the depth, the reflectiveness, and the resilience to be our next President. He speaks to the America I've envisioned in my music for the past 35 years, a generous nation with a citizenry willing to tackle nuanced and complex problems, a country that's interested in its collective destiny and in the potential of its gathered spirit.”

Indeed, Springsteen underscores issues and conflicts that the United States presently contends with on his latest album, Magic. His narratives – of death, disillusionment, and moral decay – function not only as rock or even protest songs, but also as indictments against what he believes are the destructive consequences of a corrupt administration.

Currently on tour with the E Street Band, Springsteen is set to begin a three-night residency on Friday night in Florida, the state that notoriously factored in ceding the presidency to George W. Bush in the first place.

“After the terrible damage done over the past eight years, a great American reclamation project needs to be undertaken,” he maintains. “I believe that Senator Obama is the best candidate to lead that project and to lead us into the 21st Century with a renewed sense of moral purpose and of ourselves as Americans.”