Barack Obama | Election 2008 | Hillary Clinton | Michael Stipe | Music | News

Michael Stipe Has Had Enough of the Fear and the Arrogance


Michael Stipe talks to The Huffington Post's Scott Thill, and though back in January he told Sirius' Jane Pratt that for some unknown reason Mike Huckabee's charms were luring him in, this time Stipe makes it clear to Thill that he's a Democrat.

Says Stipe: "I'm for Barack Obama all the way. The Clinton campaign has took a desperate turn and has, I think, shown its true colors. How dare they use fear against Americans after these past seven years? I'm really tired of politicians telling me what to be afraid of. On the other hand, Obama is hopeful, grounded and clearly intelligent. He is, relatively, an outsider to the beholden D.C. club, and I think that is what America is calling out for; not a career politician but a true outsider candidate. He represents I think the true spirit of the beginning of the 21st century. Looking back, I feel like we've all had enough of the fear and the arrogance, and losing our place in the world. Our very big idea of a country and democracy has been brought to a near end by very small people."

Stipe and R.E.M. performed this morning in New York's Rockefeller Center for the Today show. That performance, and interview, is AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. I've had enough of Michael Stipe. Please don't make grand political pronouncements when you've been a closet-dwelling coward your whole life.

    Oh, and eat a burger and get some sun.

    Posted by: Chris | Apr 1, 2008 12:02:31 PM

  2. Sorry, Chris, but you have no idea what you're talking about. Stipe came out publicly in the 1990's, but even before that he never hid or denied his sexual orientation. The only reason that it seems like he's only just come out is because the media has recently been abuzz about the story--about 15 years too late. Stipe has always been a proponent of progressive change, even when it's not safe or popular. If you're angry at him for his comments, it's only because he's telling the truth: Obama is the future, and Hillary is the past.

    Posted by: Jace Mace | Apr 1, 2008 12:10:50 PM

  3. Michael Stipe is vegetarian so it would have to be a veggie burger.

    Also, for anyone who cares, R.E.M.'s new album is really quite good. It leaked nearly 3 weeks ago, and I've now listened to it enough to make me forget just how shitty their last 3 albums were.

    Posted by: crispy | Apr 1, 2008 12:22:50 PM

  4. JACE is YOU who don't know what you are talking about. I lived in Athens, GA from 1985 until 1992. Around 1990 Stipe did an interview with The Advocate. The reporter commented on R.E.M.'s lyrics, saying that some of them could be construed as homoerotic, and asked if Stipe was homosexual. Stipe flatly denied being homosexual. The denial went something along the lines of "I used to think I might be, but no, I'm not." The small queer community in Athens was furious with Stipe because we all knew he was homosexual. We had all seen him dancing with boys at the local 'Disco Night', held at The 40 Watt Club, Pete Buck's wife's bar. Or we knew someone he'd dated/fucked. And yet the little coward absolutely denied being queer. In the same interview, the reporter asked Stipe a question pertaining to public display of affection between homosexual couples. At that point Mike Mills, who was present for the interview, piped up by saying "Look, I'm about as liberal and tolerant as a person can be and even I don't want to see two men kissing."

    I hope the new album bombs.

    Posted by: peterparker | Apr 1, 2008 12:40:35 PM

  5. Oh, peterparker, the way you keep trotting that cute little story out is beginning to make me think Leland Francis/Michael Bedwell has changed his name yet again.

    Posted by: crispy | Apr 1, 2008 1:11:28 PM

  6. I completely agree with Stipe that the Clinton campaign seems to have lost it's way. It has taken a decidedly negative and juvenile turn. After saying for months that I could and would vote for whomever the Democrats nominated, I now am not sure if I can support Hillary Clinton. Her campaign has recently shown me her true colors: those of finger-pointing, name calling, old school mentality, dishonesty and negativity.

    Personally, I don't care who comes out when. One's sexuality and their own acceptance of it happens differently for everyone. I don't feel my life was negatively affected because in the 90's, Michael Stipe could not say he was a big butt-fucker.

    Posted by: noteasilyoffended | Apr 1, 2008 1:13:21 PM


    The Advocate article was from MAY 15, 2001.

    Posted by: noteasilyoffended | Apr 1, 2008 1:24:52 PM

  8. @ NOTEASILYOFFENDED...just to be clear, the article from The Advocate that I was referring to is a different article than the one you have linked to here...regrettably, I was not in college in 2001. ;-)

    @ CRISPY...and I'm going to continue to 'trot that cute little story out' whenever anyone incorrectly claims that Michael Stipe never hid nor denied his sexual orientation.

    Posted by: peterparker | Apr 1, 2008 2:12:39 PM

  9. It's lucky for Michael Stipe that he can sing, because his political views are quite uninformed. He is a knee jerk liberal who has jumped on the Obama media overkill parade.

    Posted by: lovehis singing, not his politics | Apr 1, 2008 2:15:13 PM

  10. From Huckabee to Obama?? Wow! Not sure I get it, but then who cares what this guy has to say politically?

    I agree with Stipe's view of the Clinton campaign to some degree --- she has had lousy management, lousy advisors and the press has been relentless in tearing her down. While I like Obama, I have to say that I honestly don't know very much about him or what he can accomplish. Maybe he'll be a great unifier, or maybe he'll be a one-term wonder a la Jimmy Carter.

    I'm still supporting Hillary, for experience and know-how. And I hope Bill takes on a role in whatever new administration to improve our foreign policy, and to do damage control internationally. Right now, the U.S. of A. looks pretty ridiculous in the eyes of the rest of the world, on so many fronts.

    Posted by: Richard | Apr 1, 2008 2:54:47 PM

  11. Wow, he looks seriously unhealthy. Like Moby as a senior citizen. I'm not being ageist, I just think he looks unwell.

    And the Today show? They're really going full force promoting this new album.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 1, 2008 3:04:05 PM

  12. Michael has conveniently forgotten that he not only supported Bill Clinton, but he also sang at his inauguration. And his support of Obama is rooted in the media's portrayal, not in reality. And how exactly does he see Obama as a Washington outsider when he is a US Senator?

    Posted by: whatever | Apr 1, 2008 3:27:20 PM

  13. Wake up, "lovehis singing, not his politics". His politics are dead on.
    That's why Democrats took over in the last election, that's why Democrats will take over in November. Say bye-bye to the corrupt, criminal, closeted Republicans. And "chris", who gives a rat's ass if he's out about his sexuality - he has every right to speak his mind about his politics.
    What a bunch of jackasses....

    Posted by: TGibbs | Apr 1, 2008 3:28:34 PM

  14. This is all publicity for his new album.

    Posted by: anon | Apr 1, 2008 3:39:32 PM

  15. Speaking of arrogance, Stipe is one of the most arrogant people I've ever met.

    Posted by: Stenar | Apr 1, 2008 4:44:36 PM

  16. Michael Stipe was never truly supporting Huckabee. I've seen Huckabee on the Colbert Report and on Saturday Night Live, and I've been (disturbingly) charmed by him, too. But I'd sooner have stuck forks in my eyes than to have actually voted for the guy. My impression is that Stipe was saying something of that sort (without the forks). I don't think Andy has put forth misleading info on this, but a few people seem to be misled.

    I remember wondering if Stipe was gay long before he officially came out. "Losing My Religion" always seemed like such a closet/coming out song (this impression intensified by the video) tho I believe Stipe has said that it was far from his intention. As with George Michael (before he was outed), sometimes the truth was between the lines of the music, even when the artist didn't recognize it.

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 1, 2008 7:45:24 PM

  17. how funny that he thinks that someone who was a state senator and then a u.s. senator is not a "career politician". dumbass.

    Posted by: el polacko | Apr 1, 2008 7:51:50 PM

  18. Wow, moving from Huckabee to Obama - seems like quite a stretch - but wait - actually maybe its not. Check out some of B. Hussein's supporters and "close spiritual advisors" who just happen to be leaders in the anti-gay marriage movement. Of course we know you won't do that here, Towelboy.

    Posted by: MHK | Apr 1, 2008 9:02:58 PM

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