US rapper Kanye West has revealed he is gunning for the presidency this year - a mere four months before the election is set to take place.
“I am running for president of the United States!” he tweeted on 5 July.
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 🇺🇸! #2020VISION— ye (@kanyewest) July 5, 2020
But his announcement attracted one major question: how?
West hasn’t filed with the Federal Election Commission or created a campaign committee, and he can’t run for either of the main two political parties in the US as their candidates are already presumed: Donald Trump for the Republicans and Joe Biden for the Democrats.
However, the rapper could potentially register as an independent candidate – but he’d need to get in quick.
According to Ballotpedia, deadlines for registering in Texas, New Mexico, Indiana, Maine and North Carolina have already passed, and for other states the deadline is August.
But West would face a bunch of hurdles in pursuing a bid this late, according to the New York Times.
"There's a way to run as an outsider but it's hard and expensive, and I think West, or anyone else, has missed their window of opportunity to have a meaningful impact," Nathan Gonzales, editor of Inside Elections told the publication.
What are Kanye West’s political policies?
Outside of “unifying our vision and building our future”, West hasn’t indicated what his political policies would be, and his allegiance isn’t clear cut.
Back in 2005, West claimed that then-president George Bush didn’t care about black people, but he’s since backflipped on his comments.
Now, controversially, he’s shown to be a strong Trump supporter.
He’s been seen wearing a Make America Great Again cap, and met with Trump many times.
On Saturday Night Live in 2018, West said “if someone inspires me and I connect with them, I don’t have to believe in all their policies”.
He also claimed slavery was a “choice”, and shown support for far-right commentator Candace Owens, who said Black Lives Matter protestors were “whiny toddlers pretending to be oppressed”.
His wife, Kim Kardashian, is training to be a lawyer, and successfully secured clemency for Alice Marie Johnson in 2018 after lobbying Trump.
Her family has always publicly supported the Democratic Party.
Is Kanye West going to follow through?
The 43-year-old has been known to make a publicity play or two throughout his career, and critics claim this is just another stunt.
The rapper first floated the idea of presidential candidacy back in 2015 at the MTV Video Music Awards.
“It's about ideas, bro. New ideas. People with ideas. People who believe in truth. And yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president,” he said.
And his announcement has come at a convenient time: America is in a state of civil unrest after the death of George Floyd, with Black Lives Matter protests taking place all over the nation.
It also coincides with West’s new single release, and reports that there’s a new album in the works.
Whatever West does, at the moment one thing stands: there’s no indication that West is going to follow up the tweet with a serious campaign.
“Right now, this is not a campaign. This is a tweet about a potential campaign,” Gonzales told Complex.
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