The host, who argued that Swift is “reaching people in a way that is far broader than any other artist in earlier digital eras,” began his segment on Swift Wednesday with a clip from her 2020 documentary “Miss Americana.”
The clip showed Swift in 2018 standing by her decision to speak out against Republican Marsha Blackburn, who was running for Senate, adding “these aren’t your dad’s celebrities and these aren’t your dad’s Republicans.”
It was Swift’s first time speaking out about politics, leading to later posts like one in which she shared a photo of “Biden Harris” cookies ahead of the 2020 election.
“Exactly the kind of straightforward, relatable and quite frankly shareable item that does work well online, especially if you like the person baking the cookies,” Melber said.
Swift backed Blackburn’s Democratic rival, ex-Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, who lost the race, but her call for support spurred over 100,000 people to register to vote shortly after her post, CNBC reported.
Melber later pointed to discussion around age in politics, including the potential rematch of President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, before looping in Komanduri, who said politicians — like artists — are storytellers.
Komanduri added that politicians who tell stories are successful whereas those who treat elections as “résumé contests” are unsuccessful.
“However, they need to tell a story that connects with voters and with young people about where this country is going and what the next chapter of American life will be,” he said.
Komanduri said people feel connected to Swift’s courage in clips like those from her 2020 documentary.
“Taylor Swift has a lot of Republican fans and it was a risk for her to stick her neck out and say what she believed and say who she supported, there was a risk involved, but there was courage and people respond to courage,” said Komanduri, noting Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) courage also appeals to young Americans.
“It’s not about age, it’s about the values,” he added.
You can watch more from Wednesday’s edition of “The Beat With Ari Melber” below.