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Politics of the Super Bowl: While game played, some talk Swift, Biden, anthems | WFXL
Politics of the Super Bowl: While game played, some talk Swift, Biden, anthems | WFXL
Politics of the Super Bowl: While game played, some talk Swift, Biden, anthems | WFXL

Published on: 02/12/2024

Description

(TND) — The Super Bowl isn't usually a political event, experts said Monday. But both sides of the political spectrum looked to politicize aspects of it this year.

Some conservatives, including former President Donald Trump and former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, have made Taylor Swift’s relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce a political topic.

President Joe Biden used the Super Bowl to make everyman-style appeals to voters on social media, while also turning down the traditional pre-Super Bowl interview offered by CBS News.

A political action committee supporting Robert F. Kennedy Jr. played an ad during the Super Bowl.

And some conservatives voiced complaints about “two national anthems.”

“A lot of times, politics can throw cold water onto what can be a uniting event for the nation,” said Todd Belt, Political Management program director at The George Washington University.

But neither Belt nor Oklahoma State University politics professor Seth McKee said they saw much of a political vibe during the actual game or its commercials.

There was the RFK ad, of course.

McKee called the ad a “bizarre” takeoff of an “old (1960s-era) Kennedy ad” in an attempt to legitimize the current Kennedy’s independent bid for the White House.

Belt said the ad mimicking a John F. Kennedy-style commercial felt out of place.

McKee said he didn’t notice players kneeling in protest during the “Star-Spangled Banner,” which has stirred controversy in the past.

There was a performance of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," which has been dubbed the Black national anthem. And that’s drawn complaints in the past and again this year from some conservatives over the singing of “two national anthems.”

But "Lift Every Voice and Sing” has been performed before the last several Super Bowls, so this year wasn’t anything new. And neither McKee nor Belt see the song as something political.

“It is something they've been doing,” Belt said. “It is something that honors the overwhelming majority of players.”

McKee said "Lift Every Voice and Sing” isn’t something he thinks the typical voter sees as political, either.

Cameras showed Swift cheering during the game from time to time.

She’d become a topic in political circles in the days leading up to the game.

Ramaswamy posted on social media a couple of weeks ago “wild speculation” that Swift and Kelce – or, as he put it, “an artificially culturally propped-up couple” – could endorse Biden while inferring the Chiefs were perhaps predetermined to win the Super Bowl.

And Trump this weekend on social media said Swift shouldn’t be “disloyal” to him by endorsing Biden, because Trump signed the Music Modernization Act that helped artists get paid by streaming services.

“Joe Biden didn’t do anything for Taylor, and never will,” Trump said on social media. “There’s no way she could endorse Crooked Joe Biden, the worst and most corrupt President in the History of our Country, and be disloyal to the man who made her so much money. Besides that, I like her boyfriend, Travis, even though he may be a Liberal, and probably can’t stand me!”

Swift did endorse Biden in 2020 but hasn’t yet endorsed any candidate for this election.

McKee said Republicans are scared by “the power of Taylor Swift” to lend her voice to the political conversation.

“I mean, maybe this is sort of an aggressive effort to tell her, ‘You need to keep your mouth shut. Somehow, we have power to rein you in,’” McKee said. “I don't know.”

But he said the spillover effect on the Super Bowl “politicized what is not political.”

Biden’s campaign jabbed back at Republicans with a post on X showing a sinister-looking Biden and the caption, “Just like we drew it up,” after the Chiefs won the Super Bowl.

Biden’s official White House X account featured other Super Bowl-related posts. One showed him playing backyard football in 1987 with his sons. Another video had him blasting “shrinkflation” that’s affected Super Bowl snacks bought by Americans.

But perhaps Biden’s decision to skip CBS’ pre-Super Bowl interview added the most fuel to the political fire.

“It's terrible that he didn't do it,” McKee said. “I mean that was a sign of, OK, they're hiding him again.”

Both McKee and Belt said turning down the interview gives the impression that Biden’s team is trying to keep the 81-year-old president from committing mistakes in public that could be exploited by the other side.

“It's not surprising his handlers have been limiting his public exposure,” Belt said.

Both experts said it should’ve been an easy interview for the president to give.

“If I were Republicans, I'd be talking about it all this week,” McKee said.

News Source : https://wfxl.com/news/nation-world/politics-of-the-super-bowl-while-game-played-some-talk-swift-biden-anthems-politics-biden-trump-election-white-house-voters-taylor-swift-travic-kelce-rfk-ad

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