Spinners and Winners
Singer and songwriter James Taylor is one of the most famous North Carolinians, which is why, he says, he was tapped to perform Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Taylor has performed at plenty of different venues -- Woodstock, Fenway Park, even at the White House. But the DNC stage will be a new one for the iconic American singer.
The audience will be full of "a lot of people and fellow Democrats at that," says Taylor, "so I'm expecting it's going to have an awful lot of energy."
Taylor's support for the president dates back to 2008, but he wasn't always on the Obama bandwagon.
"As a life-long Democrat, I was assuming that I'd support Hillary Clinton," says the singer, who adds that he inherits his politics from his father. "And I was true to Hillary for a while." Taylor says as momentum built around then-candidate Obama, he was eventually pulled into the campaign "and then was just really amazed at what it meant to the country and what it said about the country."
In a recent interview, the president said he would grade his handling of the economy as "incomplete." And as polls show a neck-and-neck race with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, there is concern that Obama will lose voters that are disappointed he has not fulfilled the promises he campaigned on four years ago.
Taylor says he understands voters' impatience and disappointment, but urges them to give the president four more years.
"You have to look at the country that president Obama inherited and the crisis that broke in the months preceding his coming into the White House, and I think that history will show, us and time will tell us, that he did a remarkable job averting disaster," said Taylor. "I give him great grades for doing his level best [and] I really think the country deserves, and he deserves, a second term to do the job that he was sent there to do."
Outside of singing and politics, the now Massachusetts-based Taylor is also a devoted Red Sox fan, a team that has fallen a long way from their World Series victory in 2004, begging the question, what happened to the Red Sox?
"Well, of course this is a question for the ages," Taylor says with a laugh. "It's a position that we in Boston and in Massachusetts and New England in fact are used to dealing with. In a way we're almost more comfortable with this Red Sox than we are with the one that won the World Series. You know before that miracle, in 2004, it had been 87 years since we took the series, so you know, we can weather this and we'll be back."
"The days are gone when there was real loyalty. It's just the nature of money ball these days, is that people come and go so quickly and you can have a team that the fans, that we fans get so connected to, so emotionally involved with, to see them disappear, to see Johnny Damon go to the Yankees, you know, it's tough," adds Taylor.
The singer is clearly hoping voters will remain loyal to Obama this November, saying that in all his years of watching presidential politics, this one is his favorite president, for so many reasons. Including, it seems, the president's singing skills.
"As a shower singer, he's a natural. And it doesn't surprise me."
ABC News' Jordyn Phelps contributed to this report.
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