• A Guide to Musical Pandering at the Inauguration

    Say what you will about President Obama's performance as chief executive, the man's doing a pretty good job as the head of America's P.R. department.

    His team knows the Inauguration is a perfect opportunity to appeal to as many demographics as possible, which would explain the musical performers who were announced today.

    But the question remains, who is the Obama administration targeting with each performer? Specifically?

    James Taylor singing "America the Beautiful"

    James Taylor has already performed on the President's behalf, announcing during the DNC: "I'm an old white guy, and I love Barack Obama." The hope here is that other old white guys will see James Taylor and think, "I'm an old white guy, and I guess I don't hate Barack Obama as much as I did a couple months ago." Of all the inaugural performers, James Taylor is most likely to pull an Aretha Franklin and wear a silly hat, but his will be of the cowboy variety.

    Demographic Being Pandered To: Old white people, Joe Biden fans.

    Pro: He's as popular as Bruce Springsteen, but he won't remind anyone that poor people exist.

    Con: An onslaught of lame jokes if the Inauguration is unexpectedly canceled due to fire or rain.

    Kelly Clarkson singing "My Country, 'Tis of Thee"

    Kelly Clarkson is one of the few people to win American Idol and continue being famous, with the added benefit of not being Clay Aiken. She's a great role model for children who want to grow up to become musicians who don't do sexy drugs or have druggy sex.

    Demographic Being Pandered To: Young white people, Meghan McCain probably.

    Pro: The fact that Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell were able to put aside their differences to make a decision that proved popular is a great eff-you to Congress.

    Con: Every time she's on television, somewhere Justin Guarini cries, "Dear Lord, why not me?!"

    Beyonce singing "The Star-Spangled Banner"

    Who doesn't love Beyonce? The only problem with having her perform at the Inauguration is that Americans may realize they made a mistake and should have elected her president.

    Demographic Being Pandered To: All the single ladies, everyone who fell asleep during James Taylor's set, everyone else. Everyone loves Beyonce.

    Pro: Seeing her kill it at such a high-profile event will make Jay-Z fall even more in love with her.

    Con: Seeing her kill it at such a high-profile event will make Kanye West fall even more secretly in love with her. Kim gonna be mad.

    Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Barack Obama, Beyonce, Inauguration, James Taylor, Jay-Z, Joe Biden, Kanye West, Kelly Clarkson, Music


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