We usually do these Billy Penn Playlists on Fridays to recap the week’s news with some flavor. Election Day deserves that treatment, too. So here are the songs that best represent this year’s governor race between Tom Corbett and Tom Wolf (scroll for the Spotify playlist).
“Who Are You,” The Who
Do you know anything about Tom Wolf? If not, you’re not alone. He’s gone from 3 percent in the polls early this year before the primaries to leading by at least 13 percentage points, despite having little experience in politics aside from a cabinet position under Ed Rendell. Along the way, people have had trouble remembering Wolf’s name. Including his own running mate.
“Hate Me Now,” Nas feat. Puff Daddy
One reason why somebody we barely know is currently dominating this governor’s race is because nobody likes Tom Corbett. Seriously. Republican officials actually asked Corbett to not run a few months ago. Corbett wasn’t having it, though. Hate him all you want…he won’t stop now.
“You Remind Me of Something,” R. Kelly
Tom Wolf drives a Jeep. He seems overly obsessed with this Jeep. Let’s pray he doesn’t equate Jeeps with love the way R. Kelly does: “You remind me of my Jeep/I wanna ride it.”
“Marry Me,” Train
“Say Yes To Tom Corbett,” Corbett’s plea to women voters expressed through a scene of trying on wedding dresses, was so laughable that it got “The Daily Show” treatment. (Stephen Colbert jumped in later on Photoshop and pet eating). This ultra creepy Train song and video should have been playing in the background of the ad.
“Take A Picture” Filter
Wolf’s critics argue he’s all talk and no substance, who’s gotten this far in the race because of his money and all the TV and photo ops he’s gotten around the state with prominent politicians like Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama. Of course, being in too many photos with real humans is better than Photoshopping people into them.
“The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance,” Vampire Weekend
Schools are in disrepair in Pennsylvania, particularly here in Philadelphia. Though there’s disagreement over how much Corbett has cut, funding for schools in Pennsylvania fell by $1 billion in FY 2011-2012, and higher education isn’t in much better shape. Under Corbett, Pennsylvania also ranks near the bottom of the entire United States in job growth. People who don’t favor Corbett are saying young people’s futures in Pennsylvania aren’t looking too bright.
“Small Town,” John Cougar Mellencamp
In case you hadn’t heard any of the million times Wolf or the media mentioned it, Wolf grew up in tiny Mount Wolf, Pa., and lives in the same house in which he was born. Ironic thing is rural, small town voters might actually not vote for him, despite his Daniel Boone life arc. In addition to rural voters leaning Republican, he pissed them off by speaking negatively about guns.
“Heartless,” Kanye West
“The Lazy Song,” Bruno Mars
It’s a strategy that the incumbent won’t ever say out loud, but Tom Corbett can still win this thing if Democrats don’t vote. So it’s the plan he’ll never voice: Hoping people don’t feel like doing anything.
This isn’t a normal election. This is an election where seemingly milquetoast ads about Jeeps accidentally feature a Jeep owner who is a torture porn actor. This is an election where the guy who’s leading mightily in the polls is doing so because everyone is sick of the other guy. And they’re sick of the other guy in part because of normal issues like education and the economy… but also because of his handling of the once-in-a-lifetime Jerry Sandusky scandal, and another scandal that involved politicians and judges emailing ridiculous amounts of porn to each other. How weird is this election? The Washington Post listed it among the nine most ridiculous 2014 political races in the country.
But at least that means it’s been entertaining. So in this really odd race between two Toms, let’s have another Thom (Yorke) take it away in a song about wearing weird with pride.