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Bluegrass Legend Ralph Stanley Endorses Obama

Anita Kumar

Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president tonight while the Illinois senator was on a campaign swing through Southwest Virginia.

"After the last eight years, Virginia families need someone on their side, someone looking out for their interests, and I know Barack Obama will be that leader," Stanley said. "He'll make it easier for parents to send their kids to college and make sure they have more money left in their pockets at the end of the month."

Stanley, 81, of Coeburn, received the National Medal of Arts in 2006, the nation's highest honor for artistic excellence. In 2008, the Virginia General Assembly designated him the Outstanding Virginian.

By Anita Kumar  |  September 9, 2008; 6:27 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , Election 2008/President  
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Best endorsement you could ask all we need is Ralph in a commercial for Barack, to be aired all over Appalachia. Obama/Biden 08'

Posted by: Kristen in TN | September 9, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

As a fan of Dr. Stanley's music here in Maryland when my grandmother (originally from the Front Royal, Va. area)introduced me to him and his Bluegrass songs about the hardships felt upon the Appalachian people I am delighted in that he has chosen the only true candidate who offers hope and change to America.

Posted by: LouisDasch | September 9, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

This is a very thoughtful video done by a fellow McCain POW and fellow academy student who says McCain is not cut out to be our President.

Please watch and pass it on.

Posted by: Michigander | September 9, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I knew I loved those Virginians! Thanks Ralph, for standing up for us workin' folks. Go Obama!

Posted by: Keli | September 9, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Many Americans know Stanley's wonderful music from the film, "Oh Brother Where Art Thou," but he's exceptionally well known in his native Virginia. Can we have more info on this, please? Is there a photo of the two of them together? Any plans for Stanley to stump for Obama in his home state?

Posted by: J Hertzberg | September 9, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

The Obama campaign needs to get a 30 seconds spot with Dr.Stanley's endorsement.Most appalachians don't read the washington post.Hope they are not as tone deaf & naive as they appear.

Posted by: Luca | September 9, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

By supporting Obama Ralph Stanley proved his claims of being a Christian were fraudulent,and that he really has no grasp of politics and what Obama really stands for.

I can hear the crunch of hundreds of thousands of CD's being trashed over the next few days when folks learn about this.

Posted by: Matt Choate | September 10, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Wow Matt C, pretty silly commentary there buddy. Can we please keep religion out of politics? After all, that's what the Taliban is all about. Any bluegrass lover with an education, and yes there are plenty, will be playing their Dr. Ralph CD's loud and proud.

Posted by: SC | September 10, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Southwest Virginians are proud of Dr. Stanley and all he's accomplished. He's a long time New Deal Democrat, and in fact stumped for Kerry in 2004 (along with grandson Nathan). I dare anyone to tell him that his personal beliefs are fraudulent because he doesn't hew to some wing-nut philosophy. You sir are a fool, and a perfect example of the American Taliban.

Posted by: George Wood | September 10, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I love musicians! Thank you Dr. Stanley!
Now, some one please make sure to drive a senior citizen to the polls on election day!

Posted by: K | September 10, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ralph, shut up & sing. Nobody gives a durn about your politics, so just play the music.

Posted by: f100mike | September 10, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Crunch...there goes the cds. By the way, does he believe in abortion? If he does he must of lost his gospel bluegrass ways.

Posted by: LSmith | September 10, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

We have three kids in college and our money is in someone else's pocket at the end of every month. If Senator Obama can define a stradegy on how our Government, Democrats and Republicans, will reduce wastefull spending and lower the National Debt, he will have my vote.

Posted by: Doug | September 10, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Another great moment in the wonderful career of Ralph Stanley.

John Wright, author, Traveling the High Way Home: Ralph Stanley and the World of Traditional Bluegrass Music

Posted by: John Wright | September 10, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I am so proud of Ralph! Good for him!

Posted by: Margie | September 10, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I am very disappointed, I have been a long time fan of Ralph...I didn't know he believed in killing baby's 7 monthes in the womb and I sure didn't know he believed in gay marriage...wonder what the Slate Creek Primitive Baptist church will say about this...hmmm He is a representative from southwest VA and I can tell you now our people DO NOT SUPPORT OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Sally B | September 10, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Wow Sally, sounds like you have some issues! I'm proud of Ralph for wanting to help with making a change in this world! Who wants another 4 years of hell! We love you Ralph!

Posted by: katie mae | September 10, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I think Dr. Stanley has lost his mind. He just lost all the respect I had for him. I have seen him several times in concert over the years, but no more. He is right up there with the Dixie Chicks now.

Posted by: Dakotagirl | September 10, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Ralph Stanley is the real deal, has seen more of these United States than just about anybody, and if Barack's message rings true with him that's a triple right-on shouted loud from out here in Indiana. Narrow minded fools can say what they want about their pet so-called Christian issues, but I say a big THANK YOU to Dr. Ralph!

Posted by: Jim Manion | September 10, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I think it's remarkable that the same people that swoon to country music icons every four years at the Republican National Convention (Like Jon Rich and Gretchen Wilson, this year) are all of a sudden so out of sorts when someone like Dr. Stanley takes a position on matters of politics. Just because Ralph is a Democrat you're going to quit listening to his music? How childish is that? I grew up in east Tennessee and there'd scarcely be anything I could sing along with on the radio if I were to turn off the country station every time an outspoken Republican country star comes on (George Strait, Toby Keith, Sara Evans, etc.). I still listen because I love the music and I honor the fact that here in this great country we all have the right to share what we believe. Dr. Stanley ought to be afforded the same civility that we Appalachian Democrats have been extending to our musical heroes on the other side of the aisle for decades.

Posted by: Casey Nicholson | September 10, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

"Most appalachians don't read the washington post.Hope they are not as tone deaf & naive as they appear."

I just want to dissociate myself from this kind of obnoxious generalization. I wonder if this person has ever been in Appalachia. The "tone deaf" comment is particularly bizarre, but the whole comment is offensive.

We aren't going to build a progressive movement by insulting entire regions of the US.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

right on Casey! i totally agree with you! little childish i must say!

Posted by: katie mae | September 11, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Further evidence that Dr. Stanley is one of our greatest living American treasures.

Posted by: Mark Rubin | September 11, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

WOW! I didn't know that just by supporting someone that you don't particularly desire to be president would make someone jump overboard and no longer listen to his music! Well, now I have just one more reason to object to the 'fanaticalism' of right wing conservatist.
I think the Good Doctor has made a right choice and I DO hope he gets out there - as much as he can - and stump for the fella. We need CHANGE.
Pickers For Obama!

Posted by: Mac | September 11, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

To those that think abortion is the ONLY issue making one a Christian or not..What about all the innocent children, women, and men that President Bush had killed in Iraq. Irag or their people never attacked the U.S. Also, what about the poor that Jesus said for us to take care of..most Republicans tend to ignore and care less about them..What about taking care of our home-the Earth..Some folks have such a narrow understanding and vision.

Hooray for Ralph Stanley..

Posted by: Dale | September 11, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

The term "Partial Birth Abortion" is medically invalid, and was created by pro-life groups. The D&X procedure is ONLY performed if there are mental or physical health problems related to the pregnancy, i.e. the fetus is dead, badly malformed, or suffering from a very serious genetic defect, like Down's Syndrome, continued pregnancy would place the woman's life in severe danger or grievously damage the woman's health and/or disable her, the fetus is so malformed that it can never gain consciousness and will die shortly after birth, i.e. a very severe form of hydrocephalus.

Only a woman, her physician, family, and clergy know the facts and only they can call upon their own conscience and religious and moral value system to make such a heart wrenching decision.

Posted by: B. Franks | September 11, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Best thing to happen since Earl Scruggs surprised everybody when he showed up at the Washington D.C. Viet Nam moratorium rally in 1968!

Posted by: Nicholas Painter | September 11, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Dr Ralph's endorsement and about $1.50 will get you a cuppa Joe in most choke and pukes in Virginia, but little else in the way of votes.

And I do like his music.

Posted by: Bo Reno | September 12, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I think this is great. I love Ralph stanley and think this is good for everyone to hear.

Posted by: Pat White | September 15, 2008 5:30 AM | Report abuse

Sally B, get a grip on yourself and on the facts. A fetus at seven months is past the point of viability, and in many places it is illegal to perform an abortion at that point. In most cases, if the health of either mother or child is threatened, the mother's OB/GYN will induce labor, as the child is developed enough to survive outside the womb (with appropriate care).

Matt Choate, you are beneath contempt.

And Toby Keith is a "conservative Democrat" who, like Dr. Stanley, endorsed Obama.

Posted by: Brian | September 16, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Are people so dumb now days that they have to let celebrities tell them how to vote?

Posted by: Tim | September 16, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Well, I endorse McCain. Back in the War of Northern Aggression it was brother against brother and I'm thinkin' I oughta open up a can on my brother Ralph.

Posted by: Carter | September 16, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

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