The long slog toward the 2012 elections has begun, and we have our first musician-vs.-politician story of the campaign thanks to Michele Bachmann and Tom Petty.
Petty’s management has sent Bachmann a cease-and-desist letter, according to NBC News, asking the Minnesota congresswoman to stop using his song “American Girl” at her campaign stops. Bachmann used the classic tune at the end of a speech Monday (June 27) in which she officially announced she’ll seek the Republican nomination for president.
(Apparently the letter hasn’t arrived yet. Politico says Bachmann used a snippet of the song at a Tuesday stop in South Carolina, but it cut off after 29 seconds and was replaced by “Walkin’ on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves.)
The indignant rock-star story has become a staple of presidential campaigns, whether it’s Bruce Springsteen objecting to Ronald Reagan using “Born in the USA” in 1984 or the Foo Fighters asking John McCain to stop playing “My Hero” in 2008. Petty himself has been involved in this kind of thing before, asking George W. Bush not to use “I Won’t Back Down” in 2000.
We’re not sure if “American Girl” is the best song for Bachmann anyway. Surely someone who projects such a patriotic image wouldn’t want to be associated with the lyrics “Well, she was an American girl/Raised on promises/She couldn’t help thinkin’/That there was a little more to life somewhere else,” would she?