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The Who lead singer Roger Daltrey appeared at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday where House Speaker John Boehner and others dedicated a bust of Winston Churchill that will reside in the National Statuary Hall.
Daltrey sang his rendition of Stand by Me from Ben E. King as well as The Who rock anthem Won’t Get Fooled Again.
The ceremony attracted an eclectic group of people, including Secretary of State John Kerry and members of the U.S. House and Senate on both sides of the aisle. In a bit of irony, conservative activist and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza also attended.
D’Souza’s film, 2016: Obama’s America, made a big deal of the fact that a bust of Churchill that had been in the Oval Office of the White House since 2001 was returned to the U.K. by President Barack Obama in 2009.
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In the film, the second-most popular political documentary in history, D’Souza says Obama returned the bust because of a hatred for Churchill and colonialism. The bust is now at the home of the British ambassador to America.
D’Souza is not part of the program on Wednesday, but he is in the nation’s capital filming a follow-up to 2016. He told The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday he would attend the non-partisan Churchill event as an invited guest.
“Churchill symbolizes the defense of Western civilization and the passing of leadership from Britain to America,” D’Souza told THR. “He has become persona non grata in the Obama White House, so I am delighted to see him resurrected in the House.”
As for Daltrey, he said in a statement released by Boehner’s office that he was “pleased to be part of the celebration of Winston Churchill and the long-standing relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States.”
He added: “I am honored to be able to show my appreciation to this great man who, as our prime minister, fought for and secured freedom for Britain, America and the citizens of the world.”
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Daltrey largely eschews public displays of partisan politics, and his appearance at an event largely organized by Boehner, a prominent Republican, probably says little about where his political sympathies lie in the U.S. In the U.K., he’s a member of the liberal Labour Party, though in 2006 the National Review named The Who’s Won’t Get Fooled Again the top conservative rock song of all time, just ahead of Taxman by The Beatles.
“What better way to celebrate Winston Churchill’s friendship to the United States than to have one of Britain’s most legendary recording artists perform in the halls of the Capitol,” Boehner said in a statement. “Roger’s performance is sure to guarantee that the Churchill bust receives the first-class welcome it deserves.”
Boehner also released a video teaser of the event, which is embedded below, and the ceremony was streamed live at speaker.gov.
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