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Kanye West announces on Twitter he is running for president. Is it true this time?

By Harriet Piercy

Jul 6, 2020

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Rapper and fashion designer Kanye West has threatened to claim the role of US presidency before in 2015, and now he’s done it again. On Saturday 4 July, West announced on Twitter that he would be running for president by tweeting: “We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States Flag of United States! #2020VISION.”

And, just like everybody else who heard the news, we wondered: is he serious? Surely if West meant it, we would be seeing a mad dash to catch up on campaigning with just four months until the election? Although West has already missed the deadline to appear on 6 major state ballots, 2020 has taught us that impossibility is always questionable. Has the celebrity taken any steps to certify his new shocking statement? And, more importantly, is West really running for president?

With 44 states plus the District of Columbia to go, we’ve dissected the possibility of West gaining a seat in the Oval Office. As an American citizen older than 35—fact: he’s 38—and having lived in the US for longer than 14 years, West already checks a few of the requirements for running for president in America.

Speaking to Reuters about what exactly West would have to do to launch a late White House bid, political scientist James McCann explained that the rapper has two options in doing so. Option one, he could try to secure the backing of a smaller political party such as the Libertarian Party (LP), among others.

In case that option didn’t work out, West could choose to appear as an independent candidate, which means he would have no affiliation with any political party. This would also require him to gather support and momentum very quickly from now, which usually means getting recruiters to collect thousands of signatures before the next two deadlines in August and September—a tricky task to perform in the midst of a pandemic, even for West.

Getting elected is complex. Each state has its own benchmark rules, and there are two key components for successful candidacy: time to persuade and money. West’s time is evidently limited compared to other candidates, however, the surreal following that West and his wife Kim Kardashian West both have on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram is immense, which could be seen as an advantage. For example, Elon Musk was quick to answer West’s #2020vision tweet with his support.

If West sets some forward motion to his promises, it’s hard to imagine what this means for Trump or Biden. Who will lose the votes that the rapper gains? From endorsing Trump to now potentially running against him, I can’t help but look at this and question West’s alter-motives as someone who has vocally shown his admiration towards Trump in recent months. Is he really wanting to run for president, or is he just trying to interrupt the current voting trends?

Another critical step that West would have to take is to register with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and so far, there’s no public proof of him doing that. This has led to some speculation on whether this is all a publicity stunt in preparation for his upcoming album God’s Country due to be released soon. Convenient enough?