Hillary Clinton returns to Denver today, and we know what to expect: some powerful rhetoric, at least one killer pantsuit, and a motorcade bumping one of the campaign's official Spotify playlists.
Far from the nostalgia of Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign song — Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" — these playlists include predominantly songs since 1999, heavy on peppy, survivor pop, including belters Ariana Grande's "Break Free" and Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger." Okay, so she's targeting young hearts and mainstream minds, but can't politicians kick off a rally with a little more nuance than J.Lo's "Let's Get Loud"?
Clinton's organization hired a Portland-based music supervision firm to soundtrack her campaign, for which we'd bet they paid chart-topping fees. She could have just asked us. To ensure that Hill struts on stage to the hottest, vaguely-relevant jam, we prepared our own list of songs that Clinton should use to woo her Top 40 constituency. Sorry, Katy Perry. We'll take it from here.
5. Adele - "Hello"
Hello from the other side — of the Benghazi hearings, obviously. Is it a coincidence that Adele delivered her long-awaited, world-demolishing single at the same time that Clinton dropped a cool, collected performance before the House Select Committee on Benghazi? We think not. Though Adele portrays a repentant ex-lover (and borderline stalker) in "Hello," her furs and voice are too powerful to view her as anything but fabulous. As for Clinton, she emerged from the hearings relatively unscathed and created an anthology of Mariah-worthy GIFs in the process. Brush it off, divas.
4. Taylor Swift - "I Know Places"
While others may pick "Shake It Off" as Hill's walk-out music, we prefer a deeper cut from 2014's blockbuster 1989. Swifty's appeal for a sexy getaway from the public eye can amp a crowd, and lines like Loose lips sink ships all the damn time / Not this time seem apt for Clinton. The chorus I know places also highlights the former Secretary of State's foreign relations expertise. We smell a catchphrase!
3. Major Lazer & DJ Snake - "Lean On"
Clinton could take a risk by playing this summer banger (despite its culturally appropriative music video). The chorus — Blow a kiss / Fire a gun — could raise eyebrows on her ideas about gun control, yet underlines the public image she is trying to cultivate: sensitive and relatable, yet strong and action-oriented. Besides — All we need is somebody to lean on — wasn't that the whole message of the "3 A.M." ad?
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2. Sleater-Kinney - "Be Yr Mama"
This track from veteran punk band Sleater-Kinney's eponymous 1995 debut diverges from the other selections, but hear us out. Sleater-Kinney reunited and released a critically acclaimed album this year, and its members remain heroes of the progressive riot grrl movement. The title of Carrie Brownstein's new memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl can basically be applied to Clinton. Hillary seems ready to more publicly embrace her status as a mama (or grandmama) as well as feminist, shown by recent comments like this: "I haven't been shouting, but sometimes when a woman speaks out, some people think it's shouting." Finally, for all of Clinton's attempts to distance herself from certain aspects of the past because voters don't want to be reminded of her husband's presidency...well, maybe voters do want to be reminded. The dream of the '90s, right?
1. Drake - "Hotline Bling"
If Clinton wants to keep her meme-game tight, she should join forces with this puffy-vested juggernaut. Using this hit allows Hill to make tongue-in-cheek reference to surrounding scandals — You used to call me on my cell phone (and private email). In the video, Drizzy may come off as a needy dude with dad dance moves, but we think this pleading-yet-seductive track could appeal to Clinton's former supporters who may have deserted her campaign for a sexier candidate — Bernie Sanders.