via Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Well, that settles things. Kid Rock stopped by The Howard Stern Show this morning, and announced that he is definitely not running for Senate, despite having sold official-looking campaign merchandise and launching a nonprofit to register voters. The Detroit Free Press was listening in:

“Fuck no, I’m not running for Senate. Are you kidding me?” Rock said on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM show. “Who couldn’t figure that out? I’m releasing a new album. I’m going on tour too. Are you fucking shitting me?”

Some thought Rock’s potential campaign for U.S. Senate was a publicity stunt because he did not file the necessary paperwork with the FEC. But Rock maintained that he wasn’t violating campaign finance laws since he never officially announced his candidacy. He released a series of blog posts to his website, attacking the press in equal measure for treating his run as a hoax and reporting that he was breaking the law if it was for real. One post included the lines “Fuck ANYONE who takes a knee or sits during our national anthem,” and “P.P.P.P.P.S. I LOVE BLACK PEOPLE!!”

Rock had a decent chance of winning the Republican primary, receiving the backing of key donors and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. But a recent poll indicated that he’d be demolished by Michigan’s Democratic incumbent, Debbie Stabenow. Who knows—maybe that was his real motivation for staying out of the race, if he ever seriously considered running at all.

Rock went on to tell Stern: “It’s been the most creative thing I’ve ever done.” He added, “And I’ve gotten to see everyone’s true colors.” In the end, he accomplished his goal: to jerk the press around, paint them as dishonest for taking his words at face value, and, maybe coincidentally, belittle any fans who were seriously considering a vote for Sen. Robert Ritchie. We’re all infinitely dumber for it.

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Anyway, enjoy this photo of former-future-Senator Rock disrespecting the flag and the troops during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show: