On Day One of his presidency, everywhere Mr. Obama went they played “Hail to the Chief” for him – but not since. In fact the U.S. Marine Band’s duties at the White House over the last 10 days appear to have been dramatically downsized.
Instead of the usual contingent of trumpets, tubas and drums, a single piano player now provides musical interludes before and after the president’s appearance.
And the tunes have little connection to the military marching music of John Phillips Souza [sic] that is the usual accompaniment to presidential appearances. These days the pianist’s repertoire includes Cole Porter’s “Night and Day” and Sting’s “Desert Rose.”
“He’s not a ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ kind of guy,” says press secretary Robert Gibbs of the new president.
To many Americans, this excessive informality suggests a real distaste for “official” or “patriotic” music, not to mention the Marine band that plays it.