In 2002, Saddam Hussein chose Whitney Houston’s famous song, “I Will Always Love You,” as his campaign song. OK, we know. I Will Always Love You wasn’t exactly Whitney Houston’s song. It was originally the brain child of Dolly Parton, but the cover performed by Houston for The Bodyguard is perhaps the best known, and arguably best version of the song to date. So what was the deal with Saddam Hussein choosing Whitney Houston’s song for his election campaign?
Well, first thing first. You could hardly argue that it was a genuine election. With only one candidate, a dictator, the result was without a doubt predictable. But nonetheless, for show, an election took place, with all of the pageantry, gala and grandiose extravagance of an election campaign. As with all election campaigns, there were plenty of speeches, baby kissing, slogans, and even oddly chosen musical pieces. This is exactly what the now deposed dictator done in 2002.
The actual election in 2002 was not a contest at all, it was a referendum. There was no other candidate running for president, and the electorate had a simple yes or no ballot to complete. The question posed to the voters in Iraq was whether or not to allow Saddam Hussein another seven years as president of the country. It would seem as though he had a bit riding on this referendum, and to help his chances of gaining an overwhelming vote of confidence from the voting citizens of the country, he decided a song made uber famous by Whitney Houston was needed.
Mayyada Bselees, a Syrian pop star performed the love ballad in Arabic for the supreme leader of Iraq. Apparently the song was played from dawn to dusk throughout the country, until the election was held. By all accounts it did a great job. Official figures showed a voter turn out of 100 percent, with an even more surprising result. The voters had overwhelmingly supported Saddam Hussein in the referendum for president, with a 100 percent vote in favor of him serving a further 7 years as president. Would the result have been different had Saddam Hussein not chosen Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You as his campaign song?