A Democratic Senate candidate in Tennessee has posted a humorous message on Twitter referencing the lyrics of Taylor Swift, a singer who is popular with young people and who recently endorsed his campaign.
“.@VoteMarsha, look what you made her do,” Senate candidate Phil Bredesen wrote, addressing his opponent, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R), by her Twitter username.
“@taylorswift13 doesn’t like your little games,” the Democrat continued, using the singer’s Twitter username, “and she wants Tennesseans to know that you’ve been in the swamp long enough.”
Bredesen did not explicitly say so, but “look what you made her do” is probably a reference to Swift’s 2017 single “Look What You Made Me Do.”
Although the song is not about a Senate race, it begins, “I don’t like your little games” — which Bredesen also echoed in his tweet before segueing into a swamp metaphor unrelated to Swift’s music.
The tweet appears to be the candidate’s attempt to capitalize on Swift’s surprise endorsement of him and Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), which the pop singer announced on the Instagram website Sunday, after having abstained from partisan politics for all of her successful musical career.
By making songs that the Economist once described as “bitter, blatant and catchy,” Swift has become one of the biggest celebrities in the world. Time named her one of the “100 most influential people” in 2015, and she inspired a popular quiz in Reader’s Digest Canada called “Which Taylor Swift Song Are You?”
Her endorsement has caused a surge in voter registration, so it is perhaps not surprising that Bredesen — a 74-year-old former governor who announced his Senate campaign from an old wooden chair on a porch — is trying to tap into her young fan base by demonstrating that he is aware of her music.
As the reaction on Twitter showed, this strategy comes with risks.
Several people who replied to the tweet posted a meme of the actor Steve Buscemi portraying a high school student — a sarcastic reference suggesting that they are skeptical that Bredesen is familiar with Swift’s music.
“Dear God Phil no, just no,” wrote one. “Focus on the campaign and leave this to [a] ‘cool’ intern.”
Other people liked the tweet, repeating Bredesen’s puns verbatim or posting small icons depicting someone laughing so hard that he or she cries from joy.