Bob Dylan has endorsed Obama!
This is huge. Bob Dylan is probably the best ‘celebrity’ endorsement you can get in that he rarely publicly supports a candidate. Dylan has even predicted Obama will win by a landslide and said he’s not fooled by the media.
On Election Day his team posted the following quote from Bob on Facebook:
Here’s pretty close to what I said last night in Madison. I said from the stage that we had to play better than good tonight, that the president was here today and he’s a hard act to follow. Also, that we’re not fooled by the media and we think it’s going to be a landslide. That’s pretty much all of it.
– Bob Dylan
Obama and Clinton are the only presidential candidates Dylan has publicly endorsed as far as I’m aware. Dylan played at Clinton’s first inauguration. Bob performed ‘Chimes of Freedom’ on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Similarly, Obama is the only presidential candidate Joan Baez has ever endorsed.
Dylan seems pretty fond of Obama. He has attended two events at Obama’s White House. The Never Ending Tour was stopped for Obama! The first was a concert celebrating the Civil Rights Movement with Joan Baez et al in 2010. The second was to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama in May this year. Dylan as cool as ever didn’t remove his sunglasses whilst at The White House. Similarly, Joan Baez was barefoot when performing at the White House Civil Rights Celebration Concert.
I have a feeling Dylan is quite fond of Obama. He has been positive in his comments about him. Significantly, he performed with acoustic guitar when singing, ‘The Times They Are a-Changin” in the Civil Rights Concert at the White House. As fans know, its extremely rare for Dylan to play an acoustic guitar in concert, usually he plays organ and electric guitar and of course, harmonica.
Bob’s son, Jesse Dylan directed the iconic, ‘Yes We Can’ video, widely seen as one of the most effective political ads of all time. The video certainly captured the zeitgeist of the moment; the desire for hope and change.
This political endorsement may seem ironic given Dylan was and is still known as ‘the voice of a generation’ and the symbol of social protest, however Dylan fans know he has always hated this label and being boxed, and was never overtly political.
Dylan rarely attended political events and protests. He did attend the historic March on Washington in 1963 and helped to register voters in the segregated South with Pete Seeger. What makes Dylan’s protest songs the best ever written is they didn’t mention specific conflicts of the day but were about the timeless themes of war and peace and freedom and justice. This is what makes Dylan’s endorsement of Obama so important.