After a fall concert season where Bruce Springsteen didn’t mention the presidential race in his concerts and didn’t even remind fans to vote, the Boss abruptly changed his tune Saturday, announcing he’d perform at free rallies for Barack Obama in the swing states of Ohio and Iowa Thursday.
Though he was a very vocal supporter four years ago, played a number of acoustic shows in his support and played the inauguration, Springsteen had said earlier this year he intended to sit out this election season.
“I prefer to stay on the sidelines,” he said in an interview. “I genuinely believe an artist is supposed to be the canary in the coal mine, and you’re better off with a certain distance from the seat of power.”
It may have been the tightening of the race with Mitt Romney following the first debate that helped change his mind. The first appearance in Parma, Ohio alongside Bill Clinton will come two days after the second debate at Hofstra University Tuesday. He will also appear in Ames, Iowa in a second event that will also be free and open to the public.
Whatever his reason for changing his mind, the rocker’s presence is welcomed on the campaign.
“Bruce Springsteen’s values echo what the President and Vice President stand for: hard work, fairness, integrity,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said in a statement. “His appearances will help with our get out the vote effort in these critical swing states and we are thrilled with his ongoing support.”
Obama has been using “We Take Care of Our Own” to cap his campaign speeches (just as major league baseball has been using “Land of Hopes and Dreams” as a postseason themesong).