Keith Richards For Musician In Chief

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Over the next few weeks, join Soundcheck for an "October surprise" we're calling The Musician In Chief, in which special guests will nominate eight musicians and make a case for that artist to become commander in chief. First up, Billboard editor Joe Levy tells us why The Rolling Stones' guitarist Keith Richards would be the perfect candidate, despite being from England.

START THE CONVERSATION: Who do you think should become the first "Musician In Chief"? Fill out THIS questionnaire into our comments section, or email your response to 

Plus, speaking of elections, the 2013 nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced last week. We hear who made the cut


The Musician In Chief

Submitted by: Billboard editor Joe Levy

Candidate: Keith Richards

Reason For Nomination:

According to Section 1 of Article 2 of the Constitution, Keith Richards can't technically be President, because he wasn't born here in the United States. But Richards is the master at being things he technically shouldn't be, like being alive. He's kept the Stones kicking for 50 years, so he knows a thing or two about empires in decline. Which, let's face it, is what America is at this point.

As Randy Newman put it four years ago: "Like the Spanish Armada adrift on the sea / We're adrift in the land of the brave and the home of the free." No better man than Keith to put us back on course. Or make sure we have fun wherever it is we're drifting.

Campaign Slogan: "Happy to be here. Actually, happy to be anywhere!"



Probable Running Mate: Ron Wood (Wait. Did you mean running mate or running buddy?)

Core Campaign Issues: 

Ending America's war on drugs (will bring home the troops — and the drugs). Also, a Richards administration will straighten out health care (this time it’s personal!), and Secretary of the Treasury Jagger will actually fix the economy: If he can convince people to pay way too much for concert tickets and think of it as a privilege, imagine what he can do with taxes. People will be waiting in line to pay the government more than they ever have before.

During first 100 days in office, what will your candidate achieve? 

Same thing he did for last the 100 days before he was in office: Reelin' and rockin', both figuratively and literally. And only those who fail to understand the democratic imperatives of liberation imbedded in the grooves of rock and roll itself would fail understand this as the most important achievement of all.

Additional Information: 

President Richards' first action in office will be to mix orange soda and vodka and make it look cool, thus expanding the country's notion of the possible. Count on President Richards performing at the inauguration. And at the first cabinet meeting. And at the State of the Union. And pretty much anywhere he can plug in.