Obama song parody divides local politicians - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Obama song parody divides local politicians

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A lyrical twist on the song "Puff The Magic Dragon" is dividing GOP politicians.

The parody, titled "Barack The Magic Negro," was written and produced by Memphis political humorist Paul Shanklin.  The parody is not new, but it's ruffling feathers after Memphis Republican Chip Saltsman, who sent it to his peers as part of a Christmas gift.

Click here to listen to the song on YouTube.

Saltsman, who managed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign, is seeking the Republican National Committee chairmanship.   Monday, Republican National Committee member John Ryder said Saltsman even sent him a copy of the disc, entitled "We Hate the U.S.A."

"I think it was an inappropriate thing for a candidate for an RNC Chairman to send out, and it shows a real lack of judgement," Ryder said.

The CD has 41 songs, including ones titled "Ivory and Ebony" and "The Stay-Spanglish Banner."   Ryder said he suspects Saltsman didn't listen to the whole thing.

"You can see what he did as Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, and as manager for Mike Huckabee, in taking limited resources and parlaying those into victories," Ryder said.

Ryder said the controversy could put Saltsman's bid for party chairman in jeopardy.  Two of Saltsman's opponents are African American.

Saltsman has said that party leaders should stand up to criticism over sending out the song.  He defended it as one of several "lighthearted political parodies" that have aired on Rush Limbaugh's radio show.

Meanwhile Monday, Democratic House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh called on Tennessee Republican leaders to renounce Saltsman in the wake of the parody.


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