Voting the NPR All-Morning Edition Ticket

As I mentioned in my last post about our new song “Just to Win the Fight,” I’m a news junkie, but don’t care much for politics, so that has made this election year a difficult one for me. I made the comment to my wife, half-jokingly, that I wished Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne from NPR Morning Edition would just run for office already, because I trust them to tell me the truth.

Steve Inskeep Renee Montagne

My wife responded, “Who’d be Secretary of State?” Without thinking, I said “David Green,” and because we’re nerds, it went on from there.

Here, then, is a totally relevant and non-time-wasting rundown of how some of the top government positions might shake out, should the very real possibility of the hosts of NPR’s Morning Edition gaining elected office ever come to pass:

President: Steve Inskeep
Vice President: Renee Montagne
Secretary of State: David Green (former Russia correspondent)
Secretary of the Treasury: Kai Ryssdal (host of Marketplace)
Secretary of Defense: Carl Kasell (because it sounds like “Castle”)
Secretary of Energy: Robert Krulwich (Radiolab co-host and science correspondent)
Secretary of Education: Jad Abumrad (Radiolab host and MacArthur “Genuis Grant” recipient)
Attorney General: Nina Totenberg (legal correspondent)
Surgeon General: Shankar Vedantam (science correspondent)
Press Secretary: Ari Shapiro (White House correspondent)
Chief of Staff: Madhulika Sikka (Executive Producer)

Agree? Disagree? Any additions? Let me know in the comments. In a grueling presidential election cycle, it’s important to remember to have some fun.

Inskeep/Montagne 2012
I may actually put this on my car…

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"This Machine Kills Fascists"

As I’m slowly writing songs for a new album, other outlets seem to be popping up, like the Walk a Mile campaign back in July we were asked to participate in. And last week I recorded a new song, called “Just to Win the Fight,” that I felt would be better off heading out into the world now, rather than waiting for an album release much later. You can listen and get the song for free right here.


See, it’s a presidential election year, which means that everywhere I look there seems to be a lot of poison going into the well. I am not a fan of the business of politics, but I am kind of a news junkie, so I find myself inundated with all of the election-year back-and-forth despite the taste it leaves in my mouth. It was probably inevitable, then, that I’d wind up writing some kind of song expressing my basic displeasure with all of the name-calling, truth-evading, and generally unenviable behavior on display in the run-up to November. We’ve reached the point where James Fallows in The Atlantic is lamenting our new post-truth era and people admit to not even trying to tell the truth on the campaign trail anymore, relying on the old lawyers’ trick of the jury not actually being able to disregard things they’ve heard, whether they’re in the official record or not.

It was with trepidation that I wandered into the political, but I mean, I’m a folk singer, it’s kind of my business to be outraged by stuff like this. From Woody Guthrie writing “This Machine Kills Fascists” on his guitar, Pete Seeger’s banjo inscription “This Instrument Surrounds Hate and Forces it to Surrender,” to Bob Dylan’s advocacy for Ruben “Hurricane” Carter’s freedom, the American folk tradition has always been to hold up a mirror and say “Guys, we can do better.”

I have two young kids, and it is with some regularity that we have discussions about telling the truth versus telling lies. I let them know I expect them to tell the truth, even if they’ve made a mistake, and even if there are going to be consequences. That’s the example I try to set for them. And I don’t think it’s too much to ask of our leaders. The truth is too valuable a thing to throw away just because we don’t want the other guy to win.

On a happier note, I’d like to point out that this song marks the recorded debut of my 12-string guitar and the (very) used banjo I found in my neighborhood music store. I hope you dig it.