Bob Dylan Gives Ringing Endorsement to Obama

Music Audio: Bob Dylan/The Times They are a-Changin’


In an exclusive interview with The Times (U.K.) yesterday, Bob Dylan gave a ringing endorsement to Barack Obama, the first-ever African-American presidential candidate, claiming that he is “redefining the nature of politics from the ground up.” Dylan’s 1964 song The Times They are a-Changin became the anthem for his generation, symbolizing the era-defining social struggle against the establishment. Now Bob Dylan, who could justifiably claim to be the architect of Barack Obama’s “change” catchphrase, has backed the Illinois senator to do for modern America what the generation before did in the 1960s. Dylan, 67, made his comments while being interviewed in Denmark, where he had stopped over in a hotel during a tour of Scandinavia.

Asked about his views on American politics, he said: “Well, you know right now America is in a state of upheaval. Poverty is demoralising. You can’t expect people to have the virtue of purity when they are poor. But we’ve got this guy now who is redefining the nature of politics from the ground up…Barack Obama. He’s redefining what a politician is, so we’ll have to see how things play out. Am I hopeful? Yes, I’m hopeful that things might change. Some things are going to have to.” He added: “You should always take the best from the past, leave the worst back there and go forward into the future.”

Dylan’s endorsement contains a great deal of symbolic significance. The legendary singer-songwriter, who has an art exhibition opening in London next week, became a focal point for young people worldwide when he released the album The Times They Are a-Changin’, including the famous song of that name, back in 1964. The track, which he wrote as the social liberation of the ’60s astonished politicians and parents, included lines urging people to accept and embrace what was happening around them.

Memorable lines included: “Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call. Don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall,” and: “Come mothers and fathers throughout the land, and don’t criticise what you can’t understand. Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command. Your old road is rapidly agin’.

The complete Times interview is here.

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Hillary: “I Don’t Accept!”

From Ezra Klein at The American Spectator

In the first episode of the BBC comedy Coupling, Steve decides he’s going to break up with his partner Jane. He steels up his courage, strides over to her, and makes his pitch. “I’m going to put this very simply. It’s over between us,” he says. She looks at him quizzically. “You want us to split up?” she asks. “Yes,” replies Steve. “Yes I do.” She looks at him sweetly. “I don’t accept.”

[Last night] the Democratic Party essentially told Clinton that it was over. Obama crossed the magic delegate threshold and captured, for all intents and purposes, the nomination. Clinton had run a remarkable race, and come inches from securing the nomination, but she had lost. And then, Clinton took the stage in New York, and said, in effect, “I don’t accept.”

Coupling: “I Don’t Accept.”

Clinton’s speech was a curious spectacle. It’s not merely that she didn’t concede, but that she didn’t even mention that anything had changed. She congratulated Obama on his campaign, but not on his win, or even his likely win. It wasn’t merely that she didn’t concede, but that she didn’t stop running, didn’t stop attacking.

She admitted that the next few days would require thought as to the path forward, but used that as an opening to plug her web site, where supporters could weigh in on the path she should choose. And on her web site, the button to submit your message of support sits next to an even larger button asking you to contribute…. If you decide not to contribute, and try to simply leave a message, you’re taken to another page where, again, you’re asked to contribute. In truth, it is the contribution that Clinton is asking for, not the support. And those donations will not go towards her campaign for the nomination, which cannot be revived by more money. Rather, those donations will go towards retiring her millions in campaign debt. And, in a way, it explain why Hillary refuses to drop out.

So long as she remains in the race, she has leverage. She has reporters who will cover her statements…..She has the chance, no matter how slim, that lightning will strike, or scandal will hit, or tragedy will fall, and Obama’s campaign will unexpectedly fold in upon itself and she will step forward as the nominee. It is not so much that she doesn’t realize it’s over as that she sees no upside in admitting the end. She understands, she just doesn’t accept.”

Read Ezra Klein’s complete article in The American Spectator here.

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