In the current edition of “Rolling Stone” magazine, the main feature on Barack Obama includes a description of what’s on the presidential candidate’s iPod. I would venture to say that the senator is probably the first candidate to even own an iPod or know what one is (I’ll bet you a brand new iPhone 3G that John McCain and George W. Bush wouldn’t know how to listen to an iPod if their lives depended on it!). The piece about the iPod was picked up by newspapers all over the country, I think I read it in the New York Times. Reviewing the list of bands Obama cited, I was immediately struck by the fact that my brother-in-law’s band was not included. Jeff has appeared with Obama several times and the senator is always very enthusiastic about Wilco’s music, always claiming that Wilco is one of his favorite bands and that his sister is huge Wilco fan and turned him on to the music. What gives? I called up Sue and Jeff, who hadn’t seen the article, and screamed and moaned that Jeff should withdraw his support from Obama immediately and offer to play at McCain’s next fundraiser. (Note to readers: I was only KIDDING, I would never base my support for a candidate on whether he or she liked my family members—well, not for this election anyway. And Jeff would smash his best guitar before he’d play for McCain.)
Cut to last Friday night. Jeff was headlining a big gathering for Obama at the Park West Theatre in Chicago. After playing to the enthusiastic crowd, he said forcefully, “I have a bone to pick with the senator,” and then playfully mocked him for leaving Wilco off his list:
Later, when Jeff introduced Obama to the crowd, Barack came out onto the stage and his first words were about iPodgate:
Okay, I agree that this is pretty meaningless in the grand scheme of things, but as I read the news reports and listened to the YouTube clip, I couldn’t help feeling like Virginia Weidler at the end of “The Philadelphia Story” after her sly machinations contribute to the surprise wedding of Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. Sitting in her seat watching the event, she says to herself, “I did it! I did it all!”
As for me, I’m banking on the Wilco tour bus heading out to Washington on January 20, 2009.