Sunday, May 20, 2018
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White House hits

Most Americans have never heard of the online music site called Spotify, but aides to the tech-savvy U.S. president have. To maintain President Obama's street cred as a commander-in-chief on the cutting edge, his campaign staff offers a list of singles meant to reflect some of the first fan's musical tastes.

There seems to be a little more calculation than usual with this list. Country artists Darius Rucker, Sugarland, and Dierks Bentley have six tunes among them among the Obama favorites. That's a lot of twang for someone who claims to listen to hip-hop on his iPod. But Mr. Obama likes to remind the country that he's president of all the people, so it makes sense that some Red State tunes keep R&B company on the playlist.

Some of the songs track closely with Mr. Obama's known tastes: Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," Booker T. & The MGs' "Green Onions," and the Impressions' "Keep on Pushing."

Other choices seem designed to strike chords with certain voting demographics. Bruce Springsteen's latest single, "We Take Care of Our Own," suggests working-class populism. Titles by REO Speedwagon and Electric Light Orchestra may be there to mollify the growing ranks of AARP members.

It's hard to say how much of the playlist is poll-driven, but the campaign seems ready to keep rap off the list until at least after the November election.

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