By Steve Wiseman

If there’s one artist not in the business of clarifying himself, it’s Bob Dylan. He rarely does interviews, and when he does, he ducks and dodges questions as if he was in a boxing match. On stage, he rarely addreses the audience, letting the songs speak for themselves.

However, last night in Madison, Wisconsin, he referenced the election from the stage, with Rolling Stone (among other press outlets) reporting that Dylan predicted Obama winning the election by a landslide.

Apparently, he felt that those reports weren’t a fair representation of what he said, so he took to his Facebook page today to clarify, posting this note:

“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.”

It sounds rather close to an endorsement of Obama, although he avoided the question of who he’d vote for in his recent interview with Rolling Stone, telling the magazine that he thinks the President is “a good dresser”  and “personable,” and “loves music.”

President Obama presented Dylan with the Presidential Medal of Freedom award on May 29 of this year at the White House.  In 2010, Obama told Rolling Stone that when Dylan played the White House, at a tribute concert to the Civil Rights era, he was a bit more standoffish than most other musicians who get to play at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And that’s just how the President wanted it.

“He didn’t want to take a picture with me; usually all the talent is dying to take a picture with me and Michelle before the show, but he didn’t show up to that,” he told the magazine. After performing “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” the President reported that Dylan “Steps off the stage – I’m sitting right in the front row – comes up, shakes my hand, sort of tips his head, gives me just a little grin and then leaves… I thought, ‘That’s how you want Bob Dylan, right?’ You don’t want him to be all cheesin’ and grinnin’ with you. You want him to be a little skeptical about the whole enterprise.”

While Dylan still doesn’t do the “cheesing’ and grinnin'” thing, Dylan seems to have made his feelings known about this year’s election.

Brian Ives, CBS Local 


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