John Mellencamp, Obama supporter, defends Sarah Palin

Holly Bailey

Sarah Palin has an unlikely new defender: John Mellencamp.

The legendary rocker and founder of Farm Aid has been a staple of Democratic politics over the years, campaigning alongside everyone from John Edwards and John Kerry to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

But Mellencamp tells the AP's John Carucci that although he doesn't agree with Palin's political positions, he admires the mark she's made on the country since the '08 election. And he doesn't think she's as far out there as her opponents might suggest.

People underestimate Palin's intellect "just because she says things and winks," Mellencamp tells AP. But Palin, he says, "knows exactly what she's doing."

"She wouldn't be where she is today if she didn't," Mellencamp tells AP. "She's pushing the right buttons. … You can't be stupid and do that."

(Photo of Obama and Mellencamp in 2008: Michael Conroy/AP)