Get this: Toby Keith, Obama fan

Toby Keith.

Barack Obama famously opposed the invasion of Iraq in a 2002 speech that helped launch him toward the White House. Conversely, Toby Ketih famously wrote, in “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue”: “This big dog will fight/When you rattle his cage. And you’ll be sorry that you messed with/The US of A. ’cause we’ll put a boot in your ass/It’s the American way.”

While not in the same songwriting genre of, say, “Eleanor Rigby,” Keith does make his sentiments clear – he disagrees with Obama on the United States’ Mideast strategy. So paint me surprised (and hell, paint me red, white and blue, too) when Harrah’s announced that Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill announced inauguration day meal and drink specials to celebrate the swearing-in of Obama. I was told by that the promotion was not Keith’s idea (he might not even be aware of it, in fact) and was enacted by the hotel’s PR staff. For the record, the meal deal is endless pork or beef ribs, apple pie and chicken and dumplings soup.

The drink special is an All-American Martini Trio, of red, white and blue martinis. Both specials are $17.89, which coincides with the year – 1789 – marking how far George W. Bush has rolled back the calendar in this country. I joke of course.

Also, a “Bailout Bucket of Beer” is for sale at 50 percent off, and those specials are good until 2 a.m. Wednesday morning (Jan. 21). So, you can still get down there and kick it up!

But when I started nosing around about why Keith would be celebrating Obama’s inauguration, I found it wasn’t so unexpected. He says he’s a Democrat, something I did know, and there is the concept of patriotism (but still, half-off a bucket o' beer)? But Keith also said some quite nice things about Obama and noted non-redneck Hillary Clinton over the course of the presidential campaign (see stories from People magazine’s Web site, and from the Huffington Post). One person who has studied Keith’s comments during the campaign said with “99 percent” certainty that Keith voted for Obama.

Well, hell. Can I get a yee-haw?

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