Like most of you, I've been following the campaign and I have now seen and heard enough to know where I stand. Senator Obama, in my view, is head and shoulders above the rest.
He has the depth, the reflectiveness, and the resilience to be our next President. He speaks to the America I've envisioned in my music for the past 35 years, a generous nation with a citizenry willing to tackle nuanced and complex problems, a country that's interested in its collective destiny and in the potential of its gathered spirit. A place where "...nobody crowds you, and nobody goes it alone."
Many are speculating that Springsteen’s endorsement was prompted by Obama’s recent comments on “bitter” small town America, and his consequentially being tagged as “elitist” by the Clinton campaign.
At the moment, critics have tried to diminish Senator Obama through the exaggeration of certain of his comments and relationships. While these matters are worthy of some discussion, they have been ripped out of the context and fabric of the man's life and vision, so well described in his excellent book, Dreams of My Father, often in order to distract us from discussing the real issues: war and peace, the fight for economic and racial justice, reaffirming our Constitution, and the protection and enhancement of our environment.
The small town voter has come to the forefront in the Democratic nomination in the shadow of the upcoming Pennsylvania primary. Pennsylvania is a state that once relied heavily on manufacturing and has been hard hit over the past twenty years due to economic changes. Across the country, as in Pennsylvania, many are expressing uncertainty over the course of the country, specifically economic woes, and the war in Iraq.
To this Springsteen lends his voice as one who has made his name writing about the struggles of struggles of average Americans perhaps most memorably in his hit “Born in the U.S.A.” a stinging tale of the hardships suffered by returning Vietnam veterans. The song is about a boy from a “dead man’s town” who breaks the law, is sent to the Army, winds up in Vietnam, and can’t find a job when he returns. Sound familiar?
I got in a little hometown jam
And so they put a rifle in my hands
Sent me off to Vietnam
To go and kill the yellow man
Come back home to the refinery
Hiring man says "Son if it was up to me…"
I go down to see the V.A. man
He said "Son don't you understand?”
Those are the kind of great lyrics and sentiment that has endeared Springsteen to millions of working class Americans. He represents them and Hillary has Elton John.
As Springsteen himself said, "Over here on E Street, we're proud to support Obama for President."
And his message to Hillary?
"Give that big final good luck and goodbye to your all time top-five and just move on down the road."