With a little over three weeks to go in the election and the polls dramatically tightening, Bruce Springsteen has decided to hit the campaign trail in support of President Barack Obama. Springsteen will campaign alongside Bill Clinton at a campaign rally in Parma, Ohio on Thusday, October 18th. That same day, he’ll appear at another event in Ames, Iowa.
“Bruce Springsteen’s values echo what the President and Vice President stand for: hard work, fairness, integrity,” said Jim Messina, Obama for America’s campaign manager, in a statement. “His appearances will help with our get out the vote effort in these critical swing states and we are thrilled with his ongoing support.”
Springsteen campaigned for Senator John Kerry in 2004 and for President Obama in 2008, but he recently claimed that he would sit out this election. “I did it twice because things were so dire,” he told the New Yorker’s David Remnick in July. “It seemed like if I was ever going to spend whatever small political capital I had, that was the moment to do so. But that capital diminishes the more often you do it. While I’m not saying never, and I still like to support the President, you know, it’s something I didn’t do for a long time, and I don’t have plans to be out there every time.”
Prior to the 2004 election, Springsteen stayed largely out of the political fray. “I wanted to remain an independent voice for the audience that came to my shows,” he told Rolling Stone in 2004. “I knew after we invaded Iraq that I was going to be involved in the election. I felt we had been misled. I felt they had been fundamentally dishonest and had frightened and manipulated the American people into war.”
In 2004, Springsteen joined forces with a series of A-list rock stars to stage a series of Vote for Change shows in the swing states. In the final days of the campaign he performed solo acoustic renditions of “The Promised Land” and “No Surrender” at swing state rallies with John Kerry. In 2008, he c0-headlined a New York fundraising concert with Billy Joel in the final weeks of the presidential campaign and appeared at a series of rallies with Obama.
It’s unclear if Springsteen will appear at any Obama rallies beyond these two. His Wrecking Ball tour resumes in Ottawa, Ontario the day after the second rally – though there’s a short break during the final three days of the campaign.