Democrats Court Youth with Hipness; Take a Test on Popular Culture

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 10, 2004 | Go to article overview

Democrats Court Youth with Hipness; Take a Test on Popular Culture


Byline: Jennifer Harper, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

No campaign is complete without some official cool moments. Candidate Bill Clinton tooted his sax on late night TV, and Al Gore posed in tight trousers for Rolling Stone magazine once upon a time.

The cool moment has arrived for leading Democratic presidential contenders, who have displayed their excruciatingly hip sides to music channel VH1 after completing the "Presidential Pop Culture Quiz." The results, with on-camera interviews from the candidates, will air tonight at 10:30.

Whether their efforts enhance the Democratic quest for the youth vote remains to be seen.

For example, the nation will know that Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut likes to kick back, just like a regular Joe.

When asked what he did for fun, Mr. Lieberman, who dropped out of the race after the show's taping, said: "Sit around the house. Have a beer. Turn on the TV. Probably watch a sports event."

"You know. Relax. Be with my family. Enjoy," he told VH1 host Aamer Haleem.

Wesley Clark is more exotic. The former Army general knew the definition of "metrosexual," confessed a taste for chocolate-covered gummi bears and is downright chummy with Madonna.

Mr. Clark regularly listens to Madonna's "Greatest Hits," he said, adding, "Oh yeah. We went over to her house and we met Madonna. We met her husband, sister and some of her friends."

Definitely old school, Howard Dean revealed he still listens to the Grateful Dead and the Beatles.

But perhaps he's really "Hip Hop Howard," because also he listens to rap singer Wyclef Jean, and agreed that if elected president, he would try to reunite Mr. Jean with the Fugees, the singer's former music group.

"I would try, believe me," Mr. Dean noted. "I'm a huge John Forte fan. I'm a big Lauryn Hill fan. It'd be a great crew."

Mr. Forte, the former Fugees producer, is in a federal prison for cocaine possession and would need a presidential pardon; Miss Hill now is a hip-hop chanteuse in her own right. …

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