Bruce Springsteen and former President Bill Clinton rallied for President Barack Obama’s re-election in Parma, Ohio, earlier Thursday. While the focus was to get-out-the-vote, it was apparent that most attendees had already made up their minds as to who was getting their vote. A few thousand fans of the Boss and the President filled the field-house on the Cuyahoga Community College West Campus in Parma.
After brief speeches by current Congresswoman Betty Sutton (D-OH 13) and Parma’s Obama for America director, the 42nd President of the United States took the stage to a thunderous applause. Like he did at the Democratic National Convention, Clinton talked figures and the successes he had as president.
After 1 p.m., Springsteen took the stage with an acoustic guitar and harmonica, kicking off with “No Surrender.” Following this, Springsteen strummed his guitar and read notes urging supporters to re-elect Obama. The ambiance seemed to have shifted from campaign rally to open mic night at the local coffee shop. Still, fans stood through the 35 minute set that also included “The Promised Land,” “This Land Is Your Land,” “Youngstown,” and “We Take Care of Our Own.” Bruce also joked about his new theme song that was unfortunately rejected by the Obama team. Asking for crowd participation, Springsteen sang his song line by line followed by the audience adding the campaign slogan “Forward” in call-and-response form.
Lyrics included “I kissed your sister then I kissed your mama (Forward!). Usually this time of day I’m in my pajamas (Forward!).” The song definitely lacked political undertones and message, unlike those found on Springsteen’s newest album Wrecking Ball. Springsteen wrapped up his set with “Thunder Road.” He then headed to Ames, Iowa, to campaign for Obama.
– Carl Harp / 98.5 WNCX