By Judy Kurtz - 11/02/11 11:54 PM EDT
While Herman Cain has no problem carrying a tune in public, don’t expect lawmakers to break into song mid-press conference.
The GOP presidential candidate, after denying allegations of sexual harassment while he was the head of the National Restaurant Association, accepted an invitation by National Press Club President Mark Hambrick to end his Monday visit there “on a high note.”
Cain isn’t the first politician to croon in front of the cameras. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) settled a wager on a college football game in 2009 against Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) with a warbling rendition of “Rocket Man.” But senators told ITK on Tuesday that there wouldn’t be any more sing-offs any time soon in the upper chamber.
Sen. John Boozman exclaimed, “I have a very different personality than Herman Cain.” The Arkansas Republican then made a campaign promise (of sorts), saying, “In fact, people have asked me to promise never to burst out in song, period.” That declaration might be music to his family’s ears. Boozman explained that his wife and three daughters would be “mortified” if Dad were attempting to exercise his vocal cords in front of a crowd.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) evidently feels the same way. Asked if he would sing if it would attract some votes, the senior senator replied with a smile, “Well, I’ve gotten pretty desperate. If I broke into song I think it would probably turn the tide in my opponents’ direction.”
The Cardin family has been graced with the sounds of Sen. Ben Cardin’s voice — the Maryland Democrat says he’s been known to sing Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul and Mary classics now and then. But Cardin says his versions of old-time hits are mostly done behind closed doors: “I think there’s a limit to what I think is appropriate in trying to persuade people to vote. It doesn’t mean you don’t show your personality, don’t show other sides of you. I think you need to do that. So I’ll let the public judge whether [Cain’s song] was appropriate or not.”
But Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who is up for reelection in 2012, indicated it was perhaps better to keep her mouth shut, blurting out, “Oh, boy, I’m not going there!”