Bob Dylan for President?

I’ve been enjoying some recent reading about the elections (here, here and here) and am finding the varying perspectives stimulating. Then tonight, as I was reading the book Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews aloud to the family, we came across a quote from Dylan talking about what he’d do if he became president ((This comes from his Playboy Interview in 1966)).

Q: Did you ever have the standard Boyhood dream of growing up to be President?

Dylan: No. When I was a boy, Harry Truman was President; who’d want to be Harry Truman?

Q: Well, let’s supposed that you were the president. What would you accomplish during your first thousand days?

Dylan: Well, just for laughs, so long as you insist, the first thing I’d do is probably move the White House. Instead of being in Texas, it’d be on the East Side in New York. McGeorge Bundy would definitely have to change his name, and General McNamara would be forced to wear a coonskin cap and shades. I would immediately rewrite The Star-Spangled Banner, and little school children, instead of memorizing American the Beautiful, would have to memorize Desolation Row. And I would immediately call for a showdown with Mao Tse-tung. I would fight him personally–and I’d get somebody to film it.

Dylan for president would certainly make for a far more interesting race, and at least we’d know that the state of the union addresses, and presidential interviews would be way more colorful.

Published by Wess Daniels

Teacher, author, Quaker, ​and public theologian. Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College.

6 thoughts on “Bob Dylan for President?

  1. Funny you should be writing about Dylan. He just dropped by my blog for some Therapy. I don’t know that I’d vote for Dylan for President, but he’d sure have my vote for poet laureate.

  2. the best part of that quote is, “the first thing I’d do is probably move the White House. Instead of being in Texas….” I like a man who knows where the center of power really is.

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