Interestingly, Dylan is believed to have fathered an African-American child in the 1980s with then backup singer/girlfriend Carolyn Dennis, according to a biography by Howard Sounes. Dylan has never denied the claim, though he rarely comments willingly on his private life.
But Curnyn questions whether Dylan's comments on Obama are an endorsement at all.
"I think he himself would chafe at the notion that he's made a political endorsement,'' Curnyn told ABC News. "You have to look at the context here. This was a long interview that seems to be all about his art. He seems to be in a relaxed, good mood. It's kind of typical of him in that, at the end of the interview, as a last aside, he's asked for his take on the election and he gives this answer. What may have seemed to him as a casual remark to a friendly interviewer is going to be interpreted as an endorsement. I don't see this as much of an endorsement of a politician as an endorsement of the positive symbolism that Barack Obama's candidacy carries."
Another noted Dylan chronicler agrees.
"I wouldn't see this as a twist in his career,'' said Sean Wilentz, a Princeton University professor who has written extensively about Dylan, in an e-mail to ABC News. "His career is in his art. Still, he's plainly got the feeling, as many Americans do, that maybe, just maybe, as in the Sam Cooke song (which Dylan once performed at the Apollo Theater[in Harlem]), 'a change is gonna come.'"
ABC News' Candace Stuart contributed to this report.