Like Moses descending from the heights of Mount Sinai, former president and current prophet Barack Obama has today delivered his latest tome to the masses.
A Promised Land, his fourth book, is a ‘riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making — from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy’. Or so his publisher says. Cockburn, old-fashioned fellow that he is, has believed in the power of democracy for longer than 12 years.
To mark the book’s publication, Obama has summoned one of the spirits of his bygone era: he’s tweeted out a playlist. ‘Music has always played an important role in my life — and that was especially true during my presidency,’ he writes. ‘I put together this playlist featuring some memorable songs from my administration. Hope you enjoy it.’
Music has always played an important role in my life—and that was especially true during my presidency. In honor of my book hitting shelves tomorrow, I put together this playlist featuring some memorable songs from my administration. Hope you enjoy it. pic.twitter.com/xWiNQiZzN0
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 16, 2020
To Obama’s credit, his playlist does seem like the perfect soundtrack to his era: as devastatingly mainstream as it is bland. ‘Beautiful Day’ by U2? In the words of a high-flying Obama alum, ‘c’mon man!’
Cockburn can almost see the room of McKinsey consultants furrowing their brows over which Fleetwood Mac song to include: ‘We can’t do “Dreams”, that’s too obviously a play for the TikTok crowd…they used “Go Your Own Way” in that Xfinity ad…Sandra we’re gonna be here all night, can you do a Starbucks run?’
Obama showcases his #girlboss bona fides by selecting not one, but two Beyonce songs from 2008. ‘Remember those walls I built / Well, baby, they’re tumbling down,’ she sings on ‘Halo’. Who could that possibly be directed at?
America’s 44th president also includes ‘Lose Yourself’, Eminem’s Oscar and Grammy winning song from 8 Mile. Presumably Obama used this to psych himself up before drone-striking that Yemeni wedding.
There’s also a place for ‘The Rising’, that dreadful Bruce Springsteen song that the DNC used as the theme for their dreary virtual convention this summer.