Missouri's candidates reveal favorite books, music, TV shows

2012-11-04T01:15:00Z 2012-11-06T18:50:08Z Missouri's candidates reveal favorite books, music, TV showsBy DIANE TOROIAN KEAGGY • dkeaggy@post-dispatch.com > 314-340-8343 stltoday.com

Phil Dunphy for president!

Health care and the tax code may divide Democrats and Republicans, but “Modern Family” and Bruce Springsteen bring us together. Both presidential nominees President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney say they love watching “Modern Family” with the family. And no matter who is elected, Americans can rest assured that the leader of the free world has great taste in movies and literature. Obama cites “The Godfather” and “Song of Solomon” by Toni Morrison as his favorites. Romney chooses “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain as his top picks.

Back home, our statewide candidates also boast interesting libraries and iTunes accounts. In advance of Tuesday’s election, we asked Missouri’s Republican and Democratic candidates to take a break from the stump to share their favorite books, television shows, movies and music.




MOVIE • “A River Runs Through It”

BOOK • “The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson,” by Robert Caro

TV • “The Newsroom

MUSIC • Bruce Springsteen

Nixon was unavailable for comment but did submit a list of favorites.


MOVIE • “The Truman Show”

“I think it’s an underappreciated movie. We’ve all had those moments where you wonder, ‘Am I on a TV show?’”

TV • “Castle”

“I like ‘Castle’ a lot, but my wife has us hooked on ‘Modern Family.’ I’ll watch ‘Dancing with the Stars’ with her too, but there are times I find myself hooked on a good ‘CSI’ marathon.”

MUSIC • Zac Brown Band

BOOK • “Keeping the Republic: Saving America by Trusting Americans,” by Mitch Daniels



BOOK • “Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America” by John Berry

“I just reread it, and it’s magnificent. The writer has a great facility for storytelling. It tells a tale of injustice and the grinding down of the less fortunate when the levee was dynamited, flooding poor neighborhoods. You can’t put it down.”

MUSIC • Louis Armstrong

“I’m nuts about him. I love the joyous, universal appeal of his jazz and unique singing voice. I listen to music when I’m traveling the highways of Missouri. I have Sirius radio in my vehicle.”

MOVIE • “The Blind Side”

TV • Anything about World War II on the History Channel or Military Channel


MUSIC • Elvis Costello

“I’ve seen him a number of times. I remember when he sang ‘Radio, Radio’ on ‘Saturday Night Live’ in 1977, and I was like, ‘I love that guy.’ And I still do. His stuff has stood the test of time whether it’s the fast, poppy stuff or really nice ballads.”

MOVIE • “Raiders of the Lost Ark”

“How I define something as a favorite is if you’re flipping around the TV and it comes on, you leave it on no matter where it is in the movie. I just did that with ‘Raiders.’”

TV • “Homeland”

BOOK • “The Chronicles of Narnia” series



MUSIC • Robert Earl Keen

“He’s a great country singer and songwriter. He’s got a song called ‘I’m Coming Home,’ which is about being on the road and wanting to be home with the person that you love. After a lot of time in the Army and Legislature, it’s a song I listen to a lot.”

BOOK • “Once an Eagle” by Anton Myrer

“When you’re in officer training, it’s frequently part of the curriculum. It’s a great book about what it means to lead people and put them first. I’ve reread it several times. But during this campaign, I’ve read every John Grisham book. They’re great for at night, when you’re on the road all of the time and you just want to let your brain go somewhere else. I’m actually on the last one now.”

MOVIE • “A Few Good Men”

TV • “The Office”


MUSIC • Johnny Cash

“I got to see him when I was young. At the time I wasn’t old enough to understand who I was watching, but now looking back, it’s a very special memory. He understands real people with real problems but he can also intertwine some humor with his songs.”

MOVIE • “Rudy”

“I‘m a football fan and I appreciate the spirit of the movie and the character. We have that movie at home and I love it.”

BOOK • Abraham Lincoln biographies

TV • “SportsCenter”



MOVIE • “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”

“I love the cinematic scope of the movie and the great characters. You’re cheering for these outlaws, but they don’t want to be bad guys. They’re just in the wrong line of work.”

TV • “Made”

“They take someone who has a goal whether it’s someone who wants to make the basketball team or sing opera and team them up with an expert. Inevitably they want to drop out and not all of them make their goal, but they are always better off for trying. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that I watch this MTV show, but it’s really great programming.”

BOOK • “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand

MUSIC • Paul Weller


BOOK • “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration” by Isabel Wilkerson

“I use our library in Columbia a lot to find new books. Books I care about I end up buying used, but the library is a great way to discover what’s out there.”

MOVIE • “Moneyball”

“One of the neat things is how this group of players who, by themselves, weren’t huge stars, but together achieved excellence. It’s a good reminder about how important it is to work together as a team.”

MUSIC • Bob Dylan

TV • “Mad Men”



MUSIC • Bruce Springsteen

“He had a big impact on my development as a young man, as he did for a lot of people my age. It was 1981 and I had tickets to see him at the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago. My best friend and I skipped school to attend, and we may or may not have made up a story to get out. We got caught and darn near got kicked out of school.”

TV • “Charlie Rose”

“I actually had lunch with him early this year, so that was one check off my bucket list. To have a job where your sole purpose is to sit down and have intelligent discussions with the brightest people on the planet must be the greatest job out there other than Joe Buck’s.”

BOOK • “The Razor’s Edge” by Somerset Maugham

MOVIE • “The Godfather”


BOOK • Book of Jonah

“I love reading the Jonah story to my kids. There is a lot of humanness and a lot of fun in this story. I think it’s an underrated book in the Bible in terms of its influence in literature. And for the attention deficit disorder in us, it’s also one of the shorter books in the Bible.”

MOVIE • “Yankee Doodle Dandy”

“I used to give that movie away on the Fourth of July. I love that movie not just for the songs, but for the great story about George M. Cohan. James Cagney is great.”

TV • “Hill Street Blues”

MUSIC • Bruce Springsteen

Diane Toroian Keaggy covers arts and culture. Find her on Twitter at @dianekeaggy.

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