Last year, Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe tried to turn out Swift fans by launching digital ads highlighting the role his opponent, Glenn Youngkin, played in her losing her master recordings. Before launching his political career, the Republican was co-CEO of the private-equity firm the Carlyle Group, which helped Swift’s nemesis, music producer Scooter Braun, acquire her masters.

McAuliffe had a more legitimate reason to bring up Swift than most politicians (though, as Axios noted, he’d “been criticized for his own investments tied to Carlyle Group funds.”) Still, Democrats’ efforts to explain to pop fans that private-equity firms were the reason Swift was rerecording her early catalogue were a bit of a stretch. Also McAuliffe still lost.



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