For several months, Kid Rock has teased the possibility that he would jump into the race for the Senate seat in his (and my) home state of Michigan. A successful bid for for the Republican nomination would set him against three-term, incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow. The potential that the GOP would double down on the decision to nominate unpolished, tell-it-like-it-is candidates with celebrity creds in place of actual governing experience has been more likely than that he would actually run, despite performances to the contrary at his shows and hints dropped via Twitter all summer long.
But again, how many times did Donald Trump flirt with running for president before his decision to actually do it in 2016? He floated the idea in four straight decades without a serious run, enough that many observers didn’t take him seriously until he actually became a candidate. On top of that, as The Daily Beast reported, Rock himself claims that Trump-backer Steve Bannon encouraged him to run. If Bannon seriously just wants to watch the world burn, the opinionated “Bawitdaba” singer with absolutely zero political knowledge or experience is an ideal pick. So it isn’t insane for those analysts who were outflanked — by Trump’s successful run — in attempting to predicting what was possible to assume that Rock might just be serious.
Polls have showed Rock trailing Stabenow significantly in polls despite his platinum-sales-level name recognition — aside from two polls, one solid one from the Trafalgar Group and one from “Delphi Analytica” of questionable legitimacy. Of course, polls often missed the mark on Trump’s primary and election day performance as well, so they wouldn’t seal the deal. I’m not sure if it would be worse to nominate him if he did have a chance in the general than if he didn’t.
Those of us not looking to burn it all down can breathe a collective sigh of relief: Kid Rock is not running for Senate.
On Howard Stern’s show this morning, Rock told the shock jock host that the tease was just that, in a statement of vocabulistic acuity typical of both Stern’s guests and Rock himself:
F— no, I’m not running for Senate. Are you kidding me? Who couldn’t figure that out? I’m releasing a new album. I’m going on tour too. Are you f—ing sh–ing me?
He also managed to call The New York Times “a little bit gay,” which no doubt delights anyone otherwise disappointed that they won’t be able to roll with Rock (electorally) next year.
Rather than punch the ticket for Senator Kid Rock in November of 2018, you can pick up his new album in November of 2017. That is as close as I will ever get to promoting his music — despite the fact that some of his headbangers are a guilty pleasure of mine. Promoting the new album and the accompanying tour was perhaps his aim. Rock explained that “even people in his circle who were ‘in on the joke’ started to take it seriously,” according to the Detroit Free Press. “‘No, we’re not doing it,’ he said he’d tell them, ‘but let’s roll with it for a while.’
The game must come to an end eventually it seems. Sadly, not all frightening campaign prospects follow that same law. Michigan Republicans interested in holding on to some small semblance of sanity in the party can loosen their grip on their chairs as they read this. Kid Rock is not running for Senate.