John Boehner Uses Billy Joel Puns to Blast Obama's Jobs Plan - Rolling Stone
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John Boehner Uses Billy Joel Puns to Blast Obama’s Jobs Plan

House speaker salutes Gershwin Prize winner by weaving song titles into an attack

Billy JoelBilly Joel

Billy Joel

Gabriel Grams/Getty

After the news came out earlier this week that Billy Joel will receive the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, John Boehner celebrated the Piano Man in his own fashion. The House Speaker’s office closed out the week with a press release regarding the nation’s jobs situation wrought entirely of puns on Joel’s song titles.

Billy Joel to Receive Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize

Headed “14 of Our Recent Greatest Hits on Jobs,” the bullet-pointed list includes groaners like “No, ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ of uncertainty that has small businesses in Southwest Ohio and nationwide struggling under ObamaCare,” and “Yet the president just has to be a ‘Big Shot,’ bragging about his policies when Americans are having a tough time.”

Some of the hits even manage to fit multiple track titles into a single point, as in: “On top of all this, the president’s ‘Shameless’ push for ‘economic patriotism’ would just make things worse, with even more jobs ‘Movin’ Out’ of the country.” And “So ‘Say Goodbye to Hollywood,’ Mr. President, and work with us to help grow the middle class and expand opportunity for everyone, from the ‘Piano Man’ to the ‘Uptown Girl.'”

It seems unlikely that Billy Joel would sign off on the message behind the press release, however. Although he has largely tried to keep his politics to himself, Joel joined Bruce Springsteen in 2008 to play a campaign benefit for Obama in New York.

Boehner’s salute to Joel hasn’t been entirely limited to attacks on the president, however. On Tuesday, the speaker issued a more straightforward and heartfelt statement of congratulations on behalf of the House. “Billy Joel’s songbook reads like a map of the human heart and the American experience,” he said in part. “The man makes great music, and we are grateful for his contributions.”

Joel will receive the Gershwin Prize in Washington D.C. this November, with several events held in his honor, including a luncheon and musical performance. He’ll also be performing in the capital on Saturday night, with a show at Nationals Park. 

In This Article: Billy Joel, John Boehner


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