Space Oddity

8 Oct

As the nation celebrates Columbus Day and the discovery of America, we turn our sights on a more modern explorer — Major Tom from David Bowie’s Space Oddity.

Although he would be a newcomer to campaigns, Major Tom would start his political career with the advantage of high name recognition.

And it’s positive name recognition. Major Tom’s fame stems from his exploits as an astronaut who displayed great courage for traveling to outer space and then leaving his spaceship to take a walk amidst the stars. No wonder that Bowie sings: “You’ve really made the grade and the papers want to know whose shirts you wear.”

Major Tom would not be the first celebrity to run for public office nor would he be the first astronaut. John Glenn, for example, had a long and successful career as a U.S. Senator after he became the first man to orbit the earth.

Nevertheless, there are some ominous signs on the horizon for Major Tom. As Space Oddity concludes, we learn that Major Tom decides not to follow the plan that has been prescribed for him. Instead, he chooses to enjoy the serenity of outer space and opts not to return to his ship. “Tell my wife I love her very much she knows” are the final words he utters to ground control.

These developments put a different spin on Major Tom. Now he’s disobeyed his commanders and also walked out on his wife. As they say in the space business, “Major Tom, we’ve got a problem.”

Unfortunately, the days ahead are even bleaker. In 1980, Bowie revisited Major Tom with a song called Ashes to Ashes, which contains the tragic refrain: “We know Major Tom’s a junkie strung out in heaven’s high hitting an all-time low.”

Our analysis: Another case of a candidate who provided hope and inspiration, but eventually let us down. Major Tom’s decreasing attraction as a candidate illustrates just how difficult it can be to run for office. It also shows that success as a celebrity does not always translate into success at the ballot box.


2 Responses to “Space Oddity”


  1. Captain Jack « POTUSongs - October 10, 2012

    […] looked at a major on Monday and sergeant on Tuesday, so today we turn our attention to a […]

  2. All POTUSongs « POTUSongs - October 13, 2012

    […] Space Oddity […]

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