Simple: Talk to Merle Haggard. Charm the SOB, just a little. He’s waiting to be asked.
Back when Barack was duking it out with Hillary for the Democratic nomination, Joe Klein for Time interviewed the country music legend (here). Klein argues, with justification, that Haggard has his "guitar hardwired to the gutbucket pulse of Middle America."
Haggard dropped jaws nationwide by revealing that he had turned against the Republicans.
"I supported George W. I’m not exactly a liberal. But I know how that
Texas thing works, who those oil folks are and what they wanted in
Iraq… I’m a born-again Christian too, but the longer I live, the more
afraid I get of some of these religious groups that have so much
influence on the Republicans and want to tell us how to live our lives."
But he gets tougher!
"The thing that gets under my skin most about George W. is his
intention to install fear in people. This is America. We’re
proud. We’re not afraid of a bunch of terrorists. But this government
is all about terror alerts and scaring us at airports. We’re changing
the Constitution out of fear. We spend all our time looking up each
other’s dresses. Fear’s the only issue the Republican Party has. Vote
for them, or the terrorists will win. That’s not what Reagan was about.
I hate to think about our soldiers over in Iraq fighting for a country
that’s slipping away."
Listen to that and you have to think he’s not going to vote for the GOP. Barack, do yourself a favor — reach out to this guy. See if you can get him to like you, just a little. Could be worth a million votes from hard-bitten underemployed Okies all over the country.
Don ‘t believe me? Check out this song, called "What Happened."