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Politico
POLITICO
2 Sep 2023
Giselle Ruhiyyih Ewing


NextImg:‘A poet of paradise’: Presidents, pols pay tribute to Jimmy Buffett

Politicians poured one out Saturday for Jimmy Buffett, the bard of “boats, beaches, bars and ballads,” who passed away Friday night at 76.

President Joe Biden released a statement paying tribute to the “Margaritaville” singer, saying he and the first lady “had the honor to meet and get to know Jimmy.”

“A poet of paradise, Jimmy Buffett was an American music icon who inspired generations to step back and find the joy in life and in one another,” Biden wrote. “His witty, wistful songs celebrate a uniquely American cast of characters and seaside folkways, weaving together an unforgettable musical mix of country, folk, rock, pop, and calypso into something uniquely his own.”

Both Bill and Hillary Clinton expressed their condolences, with the 2016 Democratic nominee writing “Fair winds and following seas, dear Jimmy.”

“Jimmy Buffett’s music brought happiness to millions of people,” former President Bill Clinton wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “I’ll always be grateful for his kindness, generosity, and great performances through the years, including at the White House in 2000. My thoughts are with his family, friends, and legion of devoted fans.”

Florida Democratic Chair Nikki Fried also took to X to remember Buffett, who popularized and built a commercial empire around the Key West lifestyle.

“Jimmy Buffett was an icon,” Fried wrote. “He inspired generations to laugh and enjoy life. He brought communities together through his music. He was a fierce advocate for cannabis legalization, the torch has been passed. Fins Up!”

“Jimmy Buffett was a legendary musician who lived his life knowing it was always 5:00 somewhere,” Texas Rep. Ted Cruz wrote on X. “Rest in peace to this American icon who brought happiness to so many.”

Former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake wrote: “Thank you for bringing so much happiness to this world. Rest in Paradise, Jimmy Buffett.”