The Washington Post

Cedar Rapids calling: At an Iowa event, two Democratic candidates’ walk-up songs are from the Clash.

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The approximat­ely 847 Democrats vying to be their party’s nominee to take on President

Trump in 2020 tried hard to distinguis­h themselves in Iowa this weekend. One way they’re expressing their personalit­ies and personal brands is music.

The candidates each picked a walk-up song to play when they took the stage at Sunday’s traditiona­l Iowa Hall of Fame Celebratio­n, and it seems that there’s a front-runner emerging — not among the pols, but among their chosen musical acts. Surprising­ly, the Clash is leading the pack, with two of 19 candidates selecting songs from the British band’s 1979 album, “London Calling.”

No other musical act was chosen by more than one candidate, per the list of walk-up music helpfully posted to Twitter by Time’s Lissandra Villa.

(Which means the Clash is polling slightly above 10 percent, a better performanc­e than all but four Democratic candidates in the field. Just saying.) New York Mayor Bill de Blasio picked “Rudie Can’t Fail,” while former congressma­n Beto O’Rourke (Tex.) opted for “Clampdown.” So what’s the appeal among the pols of a 40-year-old album by U.K. punk rockers? Maybe it’s the ethos of working-class angst and status-quo-smashing? Maybe they just think they’re a good bop.

Other candidates’ choices were similarly on-brand: Sen.

Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) went for Dolly Parton’s workingwom­an anthem “9 to 5,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) continued her tradition of cranking Lizzo’s “Good as Hell,” and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) opted for John Lennon’s “Power to the People.”

One selection from the virtual jukebox was more inexplicab­le:

Andrew Yang (the little-known businessma­n) picked the mid’90s R&B jam “Return of the Mack” (huh?). Maybe the long shot was sending a message about the place he thinks he should hold in the crowded slate of contenders — after all, one online ode to the overlooked Mark

Morrison earworm bears the headline “‘Return of The Mack’ Is The Best Song Ever That Nobody Acknowledg­es Is The Best Song Ever."

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 ?? JOHN LOCHER/ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? Beto O’Rourke, left, walks out to the Clash’s “Clampdown.” Elizabeth Warren? “9 to 5.” Bernie Sanders? “Power to the People.”
JOHN LOCHER/ASSOCIATED PRESS Beto O’Rourke, left, walks out to the Clash’s “Clampdown.” Elizabeth Warren? “9 to 5.” Bernie Sanders? “Power to the People.”
 ?? RACHEL MUMMEY/REUTERS ??
RACHEL MUMMEY/REUTERS
 ?? JEFF CHIU/ASSOCIATED PRESS ??
JEFF CHIU/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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