WASHINGTON — In a stinging rebuke, representatives of President-elect Joe Biden’s inaugural committee have turned down a request by Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) to perform a harmonica solo at the presidential inauguration, sources confirmed Monday.
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According to reports, the Biden camp has released a statement regarding Kaine’s offer to play “America The Beautiful” and a “a couple of neat covers he’s been working on” during the ceremony in January.
“We’re very flattered by the gesture, but we ultimately must decline Senator Kaine’s offer to play the harmonica during President-elect Biden’s introduction during the inauguration,” the statement read, which was met with criticism from Kaine’s office.
“To be completely frank, we’re pretty insulted,” Kaine spokesperson Reggie Jordan told reporters. “The senator has been inconsolable, unable to leave his room or stop playing melancholic bluegrass tunes on his wetted mouth organ.”
Although somewhat unusual for a sitting senator to perform at a presidential inauguration, it is not unheard of for musically inclined politicians to use their talents in the execution of their public duties.
“Of course, there was the time Bill Clinton played the saxophone on the Arsenio Hall Show,” presidential historian Jon Meacham recalled wistfully. “But few people remember Senator Orrin Hatch writing a song for George W. Bush’s second inaugural ceremony. Many of our founding fathers were gifted musicians as well, including Ben Franklin, who I understand was quite partial to the skin flute.”
Political pundits have already begun criticizing the move, which has been viewed as elitist and out of touch with Biden’s staunchest supporters.
“Let’s be honest, Biden wouldn’t have been elected without high turnout among working class, salt-of-the-earth harmonica lovers across the commonwealth,” University of Virginia professor and political know-it-all Larry Sabato told reporters. “And that so-called ‘blue wall’ Democrats rebuilt in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania? You think they are out there listening to Barry Manilow?”
Rumors have begun to swirl that the Biden transition team has already extended an olive branch to Senator Kaine in the form of a private jam session at the White House. However, according to sources, Kaine is holding out for tickets to Hamilton at the Kennedy Center…whenever it is rescheduled.