Less than three weeks before the 2008 Presidential Election, real life hockey mom Sandy Riccardi and her moose Richard Riccardi (SanRich) aimed their musical weapon at Sarah Palin and took the internet by storm. Some have credited their song, Hockey Mama for Obama with clinching the election for Obama (but they don’t.) After Palin’s sudden resignation, SanRich had enough ammunition for another humorous lyrical mugging. Gleefully, SanRich released Sarah Palin Resignation Song; a ditty set to I Feel Pretty from the musical West Side Story on YouTube.
Sandy impersonates Palin at her now infamous resignation press conference and Richard revisits his role as the piano-playing moose. The melodic lampoon starts with the line, “I feel quitty” and ends with the YouTuber laughing.
Sandy and Richard granted me an interview about Sarah Palin Resignation Song, politics, and religion.
"I Feel Pretty has been dancing around in my head for a while in regards to Sarah Palin. It just seemed to work,” Sandy explained. “Other contenders were Send in the Clowns and I Dreamed a Dream.
When asked why they decided to write another song about almost-former Governor Palin now, both explained they just wanted a straight answer to the question of why Palin resigned.
“We all know she's running in 2012, and she doesn't have much time to get actual Washington experience. So she has now quit her job, left her sticky time-and-money-consuming problems behind her, not to, as she claims, heroically protect Alaska from her costly legal woes, but to start pushing her energy agenda through to Washington, thereby getting "experience" in D.C. There's nothing wrong with her plan; run for president if you want to. The part that leaves the bad taste in my mouth is the way she makes it all seem like she's quitting her job early selflessly, for Alaska's sake, not once mentioning her insatiable ambitions for the presidency.”
“Palin has never made a direct comment or statement, much less anything resembling a complete sentence, and there is a ploy here to defuse not only Alaskan citizens but the population of the entire country,” elaborated Richard.
The resignation may have been the Palinism that finally motivated SanRich’s song but Palin hadn’t gone unnoticed by SanRich since the election. Even though both insist they do not think Palin is stupid, her attitude, personality, speech patterns and politics have continued to provoke irritation in the pair.
“If she followed a liberal agenda, expressing a passion for civil rights and education and health-care reform and global cooling, I might not roast her at all,” Sandy explains, “but I would question her ability to comprehend the issues due to her clear lack of education. Yes, I know she ‘got a degree’ [but] that doesn't mean she is an educated person. Frankly, the folksy way she talks is a real turn-off to me. If she were to spend the next 10 years really educating herself (with a lot of help from advisors) she might come out with more universal public appeal. But I still wouldn't like her politics. I would like my president to be a cut above us regular folk. I think the job demands it… I would hate to see the first woman elected to the presidency be someone with her lack of statesmanship.”
Richard said it a bit more succinctly, “I want a true statesperson to lead this country.” He specifies, “I would refer to her religious sanctions, if we can call them that, as dangerous because she would be led so easily by her beliefs. This is not necessarily stupidity, and is much more frightening than pure naiveté. Her ‘good old boy’ style of address is a ploy which reaches a surprisingly large proportion of the country. Thank goodness there are enough intelligent people to see through it.”
A recovering fundamentalist from the south, Sandy’s feelings about Palin are influenced by her past and her personal political evolution. “I think my fundamentalist religious past offers me a glimpse into her psyche and decision making process. She'll fight abortion, gay marriage, and think she is sanctioned by God to do it. Maybe my past has me extra vehement about keeping her out of office. She can't be open-minded. She will think her very opinion was given by God…. And even our country, if led by religious extremism, will resemble the countries we fear the most. And a leader, who feels she is God’s chosen voice, is truly to be avoided at all costs.”
SanRich’s first video stirred thousands of conversations on YouTube and blogs across the cybersphere. Their comments ranged from personal attack and praise to policy conversation. The pair hopes that with the release of Sarah Palin Resignation Song, a conversation about finding a moderate Republican leader will be roused.
Sandy asked, “Will the real spokesperson for moderate Republicans please stand up and be heard? We need two parties to make our country work, but the pickins' have been slim for the thinking Republican.”
Even though Palin has inspired more than her share of SanRich songs, they haven’t shied away from other politicians and events. Other victims of their musical skewering were Newt Gingrich and Dick Cheney. There is even a tribute, of sorts, to John McCain.
“McCain seemed to be the best the Republicans could muster. There clearly is no one on that side of the fence who can intelligently balance,” Richard concluded.
SanRich hopes to continue writing satirical songs and shooting videos together. Sandy jokes, “Richard must love me a whole lot in order to put a moose hat on and go national, not once, but twice.” In retort, Richard remarked, “I’ll do it again, anytime! Sandy must love me a whole lot to ask me to wear that moose hat and go national!”
About the Musicians
Sandy and Richard are both highly trained professional musicians. Sandy, who has a master's degree in music from Manhattan School of Music, performs jazz, cabaret, musical theater and classical music. Richard is a Mr. Holland's Opus Award winning music teacher with a degree from Oberlin and Yale and works as a professional pianist and conductor.