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Dear Mr President was recorded for Pink’s fourth album, I’m Not Dead. The song, featuring Indigo Girls, is an open letter to then President of the United States, George W. Bush, written by Pink and Billy Mann. The song criticizes several areas of Bush’s administration and terms in office, including the Iraq War, No Child Left Behind Act, disapproval of equal rights for homosexuals, lack of empathy for poor and middle class citizens, Bush’s strong religious beliefs, and Bush’s drinking and drug usage in college. Pink felt that it was one of the most important songs she had ever written.
The song received positive reviews by music critics. Bill Lamb noted that Pink has rarely made songs about social problems: “the searing anti-Bush “Dear Mr. President” (…) “a folkie singalong” (…) The Indigo Girls lend their sizable instrumental and background vocal punch” and he highlighted it.Robert Christgau noted that Pink thinks “Bush did coke and teens care about the homeless.” Entertainment Weekly described Dear Mr. President “with its incongruous folkie social concern and Bush-baiting applause lines.” Los Angeles Times said that Pink taps her inner Ani DiFranco on the confrontational “Dear Mr. President.” NY Times noted that the song is “well meaning” and “hectoring” and that it grows even more sententious. PopMatters praised the single with long overview: “Oh, and speaking of presidents, Pink’s musical letter to the Commander-in-Chief (“Dear Mr. President”) is just as topical. The Indigo Girls tag along for moral support and, with lyrics like “How can you say, ‘no child is left behind’ / we’re not dumb and we’re not blind” or “You’ve come a long way, from whiskey and cocaine”, you just know that if she’d made the song a few years earlier, it would have been featured in Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911. You also get the impression that this is personal for Pink, that she’s not doing it to be trendy. On the lyric page for “Dear Mr. President”, there’s a picture of Pink in an oval frame. Red, white, and blue ribbons are tied to the frame and her father’s dog tags share the reddish page.” Rolling Stone told that Pink writes a scathing letter in “Dear Mr. President” (“You’ve come a long way from whiskey and cocaine!”) and critic praised “cooing righteous folk harmonies with Indigo Girls.” Sal Cinquemani was mixed: “”Dear Mr. President,” which cleverly uses George W. Bush’s own words against him, pales next to Missundaztood’s “My Vietnam.”
A music video was released with the single of a live performance of Dear Mr President, recorded in the UK on the I’m Not Dead tour.
Chart Peak Positions:
- Australia – 5
- German Singles Chart – 3
- UK Singles Chart – 34
PinkHistory’s favourite performances of Dear Mr President: