The fourth Democratic presidential debate is tonight, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar exclusively shared her pre-debate Spotify playlist with Refinery29. And unlike those of a few other candidates, it features over half female artists.
Earlier this year, The New York Times analyzed the 2020 candidates' campaign playlists and found that out of all of them, only Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's (who has dropped out of the race) features over half female performers (73%), with artists including Lizzo, TLC, and Beyoncé. Next is Julián Castro with 43%, and then Sen. Kamala Harris at 37%. Sen. Bernie Sanders is at 7% (although his playlist is one of the only to feature a transgender artist, Laura Jane Grace), Trump is at 7% (but who is surprised), and Beto O'Rourke, who likes to walk out to The Clash, has filled his with all-male punk bands.
Presidential candidates frequently get help from staff when making their playlists. But in this case, Klobuchar's staff says she made it herself, and we have to applaud her for this fresh breath of girl power. The list includes "Bullpen" by rapper Dessa, which Klobuchar likes to use as her walkout song, definitely an attempt to telegraph toughness: "Forget the bull in the china shop / There's a china doll in the bullpen." Then there are pep-up anthems like "Tightrope" by Janelle Monáe (you gotta walk on a tightrope to be a woman in politics) and "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga (surely a way of signaling that Trump's anti-LGBTQ+ stances won't be tolerated). There's also, of course, a heavy Minnesota influence, with Dessa, Lizzo, Prince, and Bob Dylan all hailing from Klobuchar's home state. And, there are some '60s and '70s throwbacks to appeal to the Boomers.
Here's the entire list:
Bullpen - Dessa
Raspberry Beret - Prince
We Take Care of Our Own - Bruce Springsteen
Tightrope - Janelle Monáe
Love is All Around - Joan Jett
Born This Way - Lady Gaga
Best Friend - Sofi Tukker
Big Yellow Taxi - Joni Mitchell
Flowers in Your Hair - The Lumineers
Closer to Fine - Indigo Girls
The Times They Are A Changin' - Bob Dylan
Girl from the North Country — Bob Dylan
Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley
Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
Runaway Train — Soul Asylum
Hey There Delilah - Plain White T’s
Crowded Table - The Highwomen
Amie - Pure Prairie League
Clouds - Zach Sobiech
This Little Light of Mine - The Steeles
A Dios Le Pido - Juanes
The Room Where It Happens - Hamilton cast
Shining - DJ Khalid, Beyoncé
Everybody - VV Brown
Cut to the Feeling - Carly Rae Jepsen
Like a Girl - Lizzo
Purple Rain - Prince
Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Judy Garland
Finally, no candidate's playlist is complete without "The Room Where It Happens" from Hamilton. We can honestly imagine Klobuchar lip-synching to it in the mirror as she gets ready to go on-stage, and have no choice but to stan a Hamilton-loving queen.