Was Kanye West actually running for president? Here are the receipts
In a July 4th tweet that no one knew how to respond to, Kanye West announced he was running for president. In dramatic fashion, he wrote “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!”
To be fair to Kanye West, not everyone was surprised by such a bold claim. The rapper/producer/“genius” isn’t one to back down from a large public display – you do remember the 2009 VMAs, right?
Kanye actually getting a bid for president of the United States seemed like a tall order – so let’s check on the receipts.
West’s presidential mission improbable
What caught everyone by surprise was that Kanye appeared to follow-up on his words with real actions, and in a bizarre twist, it seemed to the entire country he was going to be another in a list of candidates for the upcoming elections.
Kanye West garnered national attention from media and publications over his announcement, and in an interview with Forbes, promised that he would run the country like the fictional nation of Wakanda from Marvel’s Black Panther movie.
The rapper – now turned presidential hopeful – still had a lot to accomplish before he was going to get anywhere close to fulfilling this new fantasy. CNN reported that West needed to collect hundreds of thousands of signatures, establish a clear platform for his campaign, and register with the FEC.
Whether he would accomplish any of those tasks on time or not, there is no question that this move was divisive to say the least – we’ll just leave it at that.
Kanye West: The proactive candidate
It was reported that Kanye was rather proactive to his campaign approach. He took steps in early July to have his name on the ballot in several states as a third candidate, challenging presidential hopeful Joe Biden and current president Donald Trump.
In order to attain a spot on the ballot to launch his campaign, Kanye would’ve had to obtain 132,781 legitimate signatures from residents of Florida with only a week leading up to a strict July 15th deadline.
Sources close to Ben Jacobs – a writer for New York’s Intelligencer – even claimed to have been approached by West for potential positions in the structuring of a legitimate campaign team.
Steven Kramer, a specialist who helps potential candidates get on ballots, was reportedly approached by West’s team for help with getting on the ballot in the states of Florida and South Carolina – and the proof was in the payment.
Suddenly, this shaky operation was taking solid shape – at least that’s how it seemed at first.
Kanye West: Presidential run or crawl?
Not long after Kanye’s plan to run for president was formed, it all took a strange turn. Days later, TMZ reported, “his family and those close to him are worried, but they believe things will stabilize as they have in the past.”
Kanye’s wife Kim Kardashian admitted that prior to Kanye’s announcement, she had no idea of her husband’s plan. Although Kim immediately expressed full social media support for her husband’s decision, she completed a turnaround and also expressed some concern for his – let’s call it erratic – behavior.
They likened his behavior to some kind of mental health issue – perhaps a mental breakdown brought on by the exhaustion of doing something as all-consuming as running for political office.
It all boiled down to July 14th when tweets emerged from West’s Twitter account that seemed entirely detached from his plan altogether. Today the media world was flooded with reports that Kanye West was in fact no longer running for presidency. But how could we be so sure?
President Kanye: Hardships or hoax?
Steve Kramer, the same adviser working close with the formation of Kanye West’s campaign, told The Intelligencer two simple words: “He’s out.” This came days after sound assurance from Kramer that Kanye had enough support to earn ballot spots.
Kramer offered a very diplomatic statement as he described having, “nothing good or bad to say about Kanye”, and reminded us that, “everyone has their personal decision about why they make decisions”.
In recent weeks Kanye has slowly appeared to denounce some support from the current presidential administration, and it’s unclear who he’ll support now that his name is no longer in the ring.
While some prominent figures like Tesla CEO Elon Musk and entrepreneur Mark Cuban were more than happy to vocalize their support, others added pressure saying Kanye’s decision was intentionally divisive or an elaborate hoax.
But we have a feeling that despite this setback, Kanye West’s future in politics is far from over – this was just the proof he’s capable of doing it all over again.