Politicians love Taylor Swift, too
Erin Drumm | Wednesday, November 8, 2023
Each election season, a plethora of voting guides are published by media outlets and advocacy groups. The guides parse out information as to where candidates stand on various social and fiscal issues. In other words, pretty routine stuff. It is clear to me that another good indicator of the character of a candidate is what their favorite Taylor Swift song is!
Taylor Swift is one of the most famous American musicians of all time, so it’s no wonder why many politicians have a favorite Swift song. Though some of these politicians haven’t officially declared their favorite Swift songs, they have engaged with particular songs. Many of their favorite “Miss Americana” songs reveal things about them as people or perhaps their political agenda. Some of our Notre Dame leaders shared their favorite Swift songs and the reasons for their choices as well!
1. Daniel Jung, Notre Dame student body president: “Out of the Woods”
In an email, Jung said, “Out of the Woods: The complexities of love and the passage of time, coupled with the journey to move beyond a difficult period in one’s life make it instantly relatable to any listener. Additionally, it’s got a certain catchiness that’s just unshakeable. Easily her best track on her best album.”
2. Collette Doyle, Notre Dame student government chief of staff: “cardigan”
In an email, Doyle said, “Not only does ‘cardigan’ possess a uniquely captivating sonic composition — a blend of mellowness and melodicism — but also illustrates Swift’s exceptional storytelling skills. Lines like: ‘You draw stars around my scars / But now I’m bleeding’ and ‘Chasing shadows in the grocery line’ are easily some of the best lyrics within Swift’s discography and a testament to her ability to craft such vivid imagery that deeply resonates with the listener. ‘cardigan’ unashamedly remains my top played song each year since its release.”
3. Joe Biden, President of the United States: “Only the Young”
Swift’s 2020 song, “Only the Young” was used in a pro-Biden ad for the 2020 election produced by California’s Democratic U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell’s PAC. The ad encouraged people to get out and vote, specifically to vote Democratic. With lyrics like “They aren’t gonna change this / We gotta do it ourselves” and “Only one thing can save us” sung with children’s vocals in the background, the song is overtly political and makes sense as a Biden favorite.
4. KellyAnne Conway, former counselor to the president “You Need to Calm Down”
While Conway’s politics show that she does not support the political message of Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down,” she recited the lyrics “‘If you say it on the street, that’s a knockout / If you put it in a tweet, that’s a cop-out” on a Fox News broadcast in 2019. Conway said she loved those lyrics because they describe “Washington in a nutshell.”
5. Josh Shapiro, governor of the great state of Pennsylvania: “Never Grow Up”
In July, when Taylor was in Pittsburgh on her Eras Tour, Governor Shapiro was asked to name his favorite Swift song. Shapiro selected Swift’s Speak Now ballad “Never Grow Up.” “I cry basically every time I hear it,” Shapiro said. “Makes me think of my baby girl who’s now 21, Sophia, and I love it.”
6. Amy Klobuchar, senator for Minnesota: “I Knew You Were Trouble”
Senator Klobuchar led the TicketMaster hearing with Senator Lee of Utah. After the hearing, “Variety” asked her a series of questions, one of them being about her favorite Swift song. Klobuchar said, “‘I Knew You Were Trouble,’ because that’s how I feel like when several of our committee members walk in the door.
7. Chris Christie, presidential candidate and former governor of New Jersey: “We Are Never Getting Back Together”
Chris Christie attended a Cowboys-Cardinals game with Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones in September. In reference to Taylor Swift’s romance with Travis Kelce one person tweeted “Ooh, who on the Cowboys is Chris Christie dating?” to which Christie responded that he and Donald Trump are “never ever getting back together.”
8. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut’s senior senator: “Anti-Hero”
During the Senate Judiciary Committee’s January hearing regarding TicketMaster, Senator Blumenthal quoted Swift’s single, “Anti-Hero.” Blumenthal said that rather than blaming Taylor Swift for not having enough concerts, “Ticketmaster ought to look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m the problem. It’s me.’”
Taylor Swift is currently the most streamed artist in the world on Spotify with over 100 million monthly listeners. As an American, her musical success has impacted American culture and politics, which is shown through her constant presence in the news. Gannett, America’s largest newspaper chain even recently hired a Taylor Swift reporter. From this list, it is clear that Taylor Swift’s music is even in “Style” in American politics.
Erin Drumm is a senior at Notre Dame studying American Studies, journalism and history. She is from Philadelphia and spends her summers (and every weekend possible) at the shore in Cape May County, New Jersey. Outside of The Observer, Erin can be found cheering on the Fighting Irish and the Phillies, reading and talking about pop culture and history. She can be reached at [email protected].
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.