April 23, 2009 — Five days before the 9/11 suicide attacks, Toby Keith performed for President George W. Bush in a PBS-aired White House concert, and after he sounded a war cry in "Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American)," Toby was linked perrmanently in the press to W.'s conservative policies.
So it came as a shock to the National Press Club when Toby proclaimed himself a moderate Tuesday before heading off on another USO tour of the Middle East. Perhaps even more shocking: Toby is thus far giving President Barack Obama a positive review.
"He hired one of my best friends who I think should run for president someday, Gen. James Jones, as a20national security adviser," Toby told politico.com. "He's sending troops into Afghanistan, help is on the way there. And I'm seeing some really good middle-range stuff... I'm giving our commander in chief a chance before I start grabbing. So far, I'm cool with it."
What Toby's not cool with is the way politics get played out in the current landscape. Red vs. blue, conservative vs. liberal, right vs. left — the discourse keeps America battling itself instead of pulling together.
"The extreme ends seem to create all the noise, and they are poison," he told the Press Club, according to The Albuquerque Journal. "I have so many disagreements with the extreme right. If it continues the way it does, then we'll have people dying in this country over their political agenda."
Toby took off Tuesday for his seventh tour to perform for American soldiers in the Middle East. He's expected to play 17 shows in 11 days.