With Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama arriving in Montana this weekend, both presidential candidates are doubtless trying to suppress reports that a key supporter and national leader has switched support from Clinton to Obama and now remains undecided. I’m not talking about New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, but of hip hop artist, actor and video game character 50 Cent.
MTV News broke the story last week that 50 Cent has flip-flopped from Clinton to Obama but is currently undecided and, like many Americans, apathetic after the primary battle has dragged on for months longer than expected.
While 50 Cent was originally firmly in Clinton’s camp, after Obama’s speech on race in America, 50 Cent found himself swayed by the Illinois senator’s moving rhetoric, telling an MTV crew: “(Obama) hit me with that he-just-got-done- watching-‘Malcolm X,’ and I swear to God, I’m like, ‘Yo, Obama!’ ” He threw his fist in the air. “I’m Obama to the end now, baby!”
But with no end in sight to the Democratic primary, 50 Cent is unsure again: “I listened to some of the debate and things that they were saying, and I just got lost in everything that was going on. … Don’t look for my vote, for me to determine nothing on that. Just say, ’50 Cent, he don’t know, so don’t ask Fiddy.’”
While I commiserate with Fiddy on the Clinton-Obama question, I’m somewhat surprised he’s a Democrat. On one hand, many members of the entertainment industry lean left, and a majority of African-Americans support Democrats. On the other hand, as someone who has risen from the mean streets of Jamaica, Queens to the top of a media empire, you’d think 50 Cent believes in the unrestricted free market favored by fiscal conservatives.
“I make mine the fast way, the ski mask way, make money, make money money money,” 50 Cent has rapped, espousing laissez-faire economic policy. “If you ask me, it’s the only way, take money, take money money money.”
Furthermore, 50 Cent is obviously a firm believer in Second Amendment rights, and an unabashed admirer of automatic assault weapons, be they handguns or large caliber rifles. This is another area in which Republicans tend to dominate the national conversation.
Yet Fiddy remains uncommitted. He is that enigmatic and essential prize of John McCain or Obama or Clinton: the independent voter. So when the general election shapes up and pundits start opining over which candidate is better suited to woo the undecided voter, just turn it off and look to 50 Cent. As he goes, so goes the nation.
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