If Saturday Night Live types are looking for ways to lampoon presumptive candidate for president Martin O’Malley, if he’s been giving them plenty. Not only is he making an impression with the “slightly disturbing and mesmerizing way” he stares at a crowd or a single reporter, but also it seems that at virtually every recent public appearance he’s picked up a guitar for an impromptu song.
Just how spontaneous these moments really are is unclear. An O’Malley aide told The Daily Beast that having a guitar always available was her idea, but that O’Malley himself doesn’t know when it’s going to be there. That’s not terribly believable. But the Huffington Post reported that “random people” having been bringing their guitars from home for O’Malley to play, with one supporter in Des Moines even “a little annoyed” that he wasn’t the only one to come to the event with a guitar.
But whether it’s planned or not, he might want to quit. The Daily Beast‘s Olivia Nuzzi found a rendition of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” in New Hampshire pretty disturbing:
As O’Malley sings, his eyes remain wide open. His steely, unbreakable gaze communicates a desperation that makes the performance feel like an audition for a version of American Idol wherein the winner receives the presidency rather than a recording contract.
It’s unsettling…To me anyway, but maybe not to the rest of the crowd. They eventually join him, whisper-singing in eerie unison.
Desperate, unsettling, eerie — I like a lot of music that would fit that description. But I don’t think it’s exactly what O’Malley is going for here.