Politics rarely resembles the interpretation of government that Hollywood, or Netflix for that matter, presents to the public. Every now and then though and especially during campaign season, the two worlds coalesce. It is not unusual to find celebrities endorsing political candidates and even donating campaign funds. What is unusual is a candidate using the soundtrack of a Hollywood blockbuster as background music for their television ad.
One quick glance at this ad from Tennessee state Representative Charles Sargent, and you may recognize the romantic, somewhat patriotic tune in the background. It happens to be the theme song from “Dances with Wolves,” the 1990 Western starring Kevin Costner.
The soundtrack went on to receive the 1990 Oscar for Best Original Score and the 1991 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture. Charles Sargent and his campaign team proved to be just as fruitful towards his bid for reelection to Tennessee’s state House of Representatives, as he won last night. No word on whether Sargent has paid for the rights to use the track or why he chose the soundtrack from a film about a man befriending wild wolves. ABC News tried reached out to Sargent for comment on his exquisite taste in cinema orchestration, but he never responded.
Sargent is not the only political candidate to use theme songs from popular movies to woo voters. Massachusetts Governor’s Councillor Mike Albano and his campaign team used a far more invigorating track for a television ad that ran in 2012. This ad, amply titled “Michael Albano is the Proven Democrat,” features a version of the theme song from 2008 thriller “The Dark Night.”
Albano did in fact respond to ABC News, but says he had never even seen the 2009 Academy Award winning film. After learning that “The Dark Knight” was a film about DC Comics superhero Batman, he replied, “I think I saw the first Batman, but I probably didn’t see that one.”
Albano says a group of interns from the University of Massachusetts who worked on his campaign put together the advertisement and he initially did not remember whether the ad ever aired on television. According to CMAG Kantar Media it not only went up on TV, but aired a total of 30 times; quite a bit of crime fighting for a candidacy to appoint his state’s judicial nominees. Albano later confirmed that his campaign did pay for the rights to their song, a grand sum of $35. Apparently it was all worth it, as Albano went on to win his election.