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Bruce Springsteen Will Campaign for Barack Obama After All

Bruce Springsteen

The Boss is teaming up with the Big Dog. Bruce Springsteen will join former President Bill Clinton to stump for President Barack Obama on October 18 in Parma, Ohio, and then will go on and campaign for Obama in Ames, Iowa, while Clinton stays in Ohio. That’s according to CNN, which cites the president’s 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 widely quoted 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.” 

Springsteen performed at rallies for Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry in 2004 and for Obama four years ago. His latest album, Wrecking Ball, rages at the greed and despair underlying the Great Recession with uncommon directness, and his “We Take Care of Our Own” sums up a case for strong, democratic institutions much better than the president’s often-mischaracterized “you didn’t build that” comment. So much so, in fact, that Obama walked off the stage to the song at the Democratic National Convention, boosting its sales 409 percent.

Still, as Rolling Stone points out, Springsteen had suggested he might stay off the campaign trail this time around. “I did it twice because things were so dire,” he’s quoted as saying in David Remnick’s 15,000-word Springsteen profile this July in the New Yorker. “It seemed like if I was ever going to spend whatever small political capital I had, that was the moment to do so. But that capital diminishes the more often you do it. While I’m not saying never, and I still like to support the President, you know, it’s something I didn’t do for a long time, and I don’t have plans to be out there every time.”

Springsteen and Clinton, who vigorously and foksily defended the president at the convention, will be stumping for Obama in two crucial swing states. The Boss is far from the only prominent musician taking sides in the presidential election this year, though. Eddie Vedder recently spoke out against Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s surreptitiously recorded dismissal of “the 47 percent,” Beyoncé and Jay-Z hosted an Obama fundraiser that brought in $4 million, and Foo Fighters rocked for Obama earlier this year. Kid Rock and Creed’s Scott Stapp have been critical of Obama, while Romney has enthused about the Killers, and Paul Ryan has indicated he has Led Zeppelin filed under “Z” on his iPod.