The liberal history of the Grammy’s Spoken Word category

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
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If you’re a conservative, you are more likely to be appointed to President Barack Obama’s Cabinet than be nominated for a Grammy in the “Best Spoken Word Album” category.

Last night, three prominent liberals — former President Bill Clinton, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and Michelle Obama — were all in competition for a Grammy in that category, though none of them ended up taking home the prize.

More or less, the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album goes to the year’s best audiobook for adults. An analysis by The Daily Caller of past winners and nominees for the Spoken Word Grammy dating back to 1997 reveals that precisely zero nominations have gone to prominent conservatives, while liberal comedians and politicians have had numerous nominations and wins.

Apparently conservatives are incapable of putting out a stellar audiobook.

But boy is Jimmy Carter a Spoken Word wizard. Since 1997, Carter has been nominated six times in the Spoken Word category, winning once.

President Obama has won both times he was nominated, in 2006 and 2008. Bill Clinton was nominated three times, winning once. Hillary Clinton has been nominated two times, winning in 1997. Al Gore won in 2009, the only time he was nominated.

Liberal political comedians have cleaned house as well.

Jon Stewart has won once. Al Franken, now a Democratic senator from Minnesota, has won twice on four nominations, including in 1997 for his “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot.”

For several years during the period TheDC reviewed the Spoken Word category, it was split into two separate categories — one for Spoken Comedy and another for Spoken Word. As a result, both Hillary Clinton and Al Franken were able to take home a Spoken Word Grammy in 1997. The two categories were merged in 2003.

Here is a list of liberal nominees and winners since 1997 — and TheDC was generous in not including others who might very well belong on the list. We’re looking at you, Alan Alda and Walter Cronkite.

Jimmy Carter: Nominated 6 times, won 1 time.

Al Franken: Nominated 4 times, won 2 times.

Bill Clinton: Nominated 3 times, won 1 time.

President Obama: Nominated 2 times, won 2 times.

Hillary Clinton: Nominated 2 time, won 1 time.

Bill Maher: Nominated 2 times.

Jon Stewart: Nominated 1, won 1 time.

Al Gore: Nominated 1 time, won 1 time.

Michelle Obama: Nominated 1 time.

Rachel Maddow: Nominated 1 time.

George Carlin: Nominated 1 time.

Sarah Silverman: Nominated 1 time.

Stephen Colbert: Nominated 1 time.

And if you throw the Spoken Word Album for Children Grammy category into the count, you could mark another win for Bill Clinton.

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