Peter, Paul & Mary's Peter Pontificates on Primary
For all you folk music fans who have been wondering what Peter Yarrow (who put the "Peter" in Peter, Paul & Mary) thinks of the Democratic presidential primary: Puff the Magic Dragon doesn't have a problem with the bitter slugfest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Mr. Non-Violent Conflict Resolution has become Mr. Non-Conventional Wisdom.
"When the chips are down and the fight is on, they want to know you've got the guts, like Harry Truman, to give 'em hell," Yarrow told The Sleuth Tuesday after joining grassroots lobbyists on Capitol Hill for Arts Advocacy Day.
What a difference four decades makes. Yarrow strummed his guitar, locked arms with fellow civil rights proponents and sang "We Shall Overcome" throughout the 1960s. He marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963 (and yes, Mitt Romney, Yarrow was really there). He later launched the "Don't Laugh At Me" anti-bullying curriculum for school children.
And now, Yarrow thinks the intra-party feud between the Democratic candidates will only toughen them up for the real fight in November.
"I think, frankly, it's very healthy to be battling it out in the primary now," Yarrow told us.
For now, Yarrow seems content just blowin' in the wind while Obama and Clinton hammer it out -- in the morning, in the evening, all over this land.
"Either is more electable today than before the scrapping began," the folk legend explained.
Yarrow was on Capitol Hill, along with Robert Redford, Kerry Washington (of "Ray" fame) and Grammy award singer John Legend appealing for more federal funding for the arts. Yarrow sang "This Little Light of Mine" and "I Woke Up This Morning" (With My Mind Set On Freedom)" at the Congressional Arts Breakfast before more than 500 grassroots lobbyists fanned out across Capitol Hill for the cause.
Making his pitch for more funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, Redford told a House Appropriations subcommittee that his beloved Sundance Institute and Sundance Film Festival were started with NEA grants.
Kerry Washington said she never would have wound up on the silver screen had it not been for those discounted tickets to Broadway that the NEA provided to children like her from the Bronx.
Robert Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, told The Sleuth Tuesday night by telephone that his troops had a successful day of lobbying. "Bob Redford," he said, met with Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who, in addition to being a politician, is a fellow actor and Batman fanatic who'll be appearing in the upcoming Batman film "The Dark Knight."
Lynch wasn't sure whether actor Washington had as successful a time Tuesday as she did last year lobbying on Arts Advocacy Day, when she "got a date out of the deal."
Hmm, could he have been referring to Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.), who protested a bit too much last year when he told The Sleuth he didn't even get Washington's phone number after publicly hitting on her?
Mary Ann Akers
April 2, 2008; 8:45 AM ET
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