JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—Mitt Romney may say he likes
"change," but he's basically stuck to the same entrance song since
launching his campaign about a year ago: Elvis Presley's "A Little Less
Conversation," whose chorus ("A little less conversation, a little more
action") is meant, I suppose, to evoke the former Massachusetts
governor's optimistic Mr. Fix-It attitude—and not the impatience with
foreplay that so vexed the King.
But tonight in an(other) airplane hangar, this one here in Jacksonville, a new cut showed up on the playlist—the Temptations classic "Ain't Too Proud Too Beg." I can't imagine that it was particularly welcome—assuming anyone but me noticed. On "Beg," you'll recall, singer David Ruffin spends 2:35 professing his willingness to do anything he can—"sleep(ing) on your doorstep," com(ing) and plead(ing) to you, baby" and, of course, "beg(ging)"—to "keep you from walking away." Not exactly the best theme song for a pol trying to shake his image as a panderer unashamed to say anything for a vote.
When asked, campaign aides claimed they had nothing to do with the evening's musical accompaniment, which also included the tender Tom Petty ballad "Wildflowers." (A point in their favor.) But the local A/V guys begged to differ, arguing that they simply played the CD they were given. The truth is still, as they say, out there. But when Ruffin's rasp faded, a familiar twang rang out through the room. The next track: "Walk the Line," Johnny Cash's deathless rockabilly ode... to the virtues of staying steadfast and true.
Talk about changing your tune.