Is this a sincere political launch or an elaborate marketing ploy (or can we even tell the difference anymore?): Kid Rock, born Robert Ritchie, on Wednesday debuted the website kidrockforsenate.com.
The site has a nifty, convincing-looking campaign logo that reads “Kid Rock ’18 for U.S. Senate,” alongside a photo of the singer looking … well, not exactly senatorial, but serious, at least, and sitting in what could pass for a Senate office. But it’s curiously devoid of any of the typical features of a campaign website, such as platforms, endorsements or a biography. Instead, the site seems to be a platform for selling campaign merchandise and his music. The FAQ is all about ordering the goods rather than swaying voters.
And the singer does not appear to have registered a candidacy with the Federal Election Commission.
Still, he insisted that it’s genuine, no matter how implausible (let us not forget that the potential “gentleman from Michigan” is featured in a sex tape, people).
“I have had a ton of emails and texts asking me if this website is real,” he tweeted. “The answer is an absolute YES”
A moment later, he Twitter-teased: “Stay tuned, I will have a major announcement in the near future”
The stringy-haired and oft-behatted Rock is a Republican and a supporter of President Trump, and Republicans have been eyeing the Senate seat held by Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), who is up for reelection in 2018.
So does it all add up to a mere ploy to sell Brand Kid Rock? Susan Demas, the editor of Inside Michigan Politics, suspects so. “That’s the consensus opinion,” she says. “He’s looking for attention — and he’s getting it.”
Then again, when there’s a President Trump in office (and stars like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson talking about their 2020 plans), it’s hard to rule any celebrity out of politics. “If you had asked me in 2015, I would have just laughed,” Demas says. “But you have to take seriously the idea that celebrity candidates who want to see if the Trump formula works for other offices.”