Tom Swarbrick 10pm - 1am
Is Kanye West really running for president?
8 July 2020, 12:39
Kanye West announced in a July 4 tweet that he was running to become the next President of the United States.
In the bombshell message, the rapper said: “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.”
But is the controversial musician actually running to become the leader of one of the world’s biggest superpowers?
And if he is, what are his policies and how does the electoral process work?
Is Kanye West running for President?
Kanye says he is “definitely” running, under the guise of The Birthday Party.
In a wide-ranging interview with Forbes, he said his running mate will be Michelle Tidball, a preacher from Wyoming who says she has “been involved in almost all aspects of ministry including speaking, pastoring, prayer, teaching, and the most time spent in bringing deliverance to those who are in bondage.”
Kanye emphasises he still has 30 days to confirm whether he is running before he would miss the filing date for most states, although he believes that could be negotiable because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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
He has already missed the dates for at least six states, with 12 more due by the end of July.
He first announced he would run for President at the 2015 MTV VMAs, but later said following a meeting with President Trump that he would not run until 2024.
He praised the President at that 2018 meeting, during which he controversially donned a Make America Great Again cap.
But he told Forbes: “I am taking the red hat off, with this interview.”
Kanye also said the incumbent’s presidency “looks like one big mess to me,” adding “I don’t like that I caught wind that he hid in the bunker.”
What would his policies be?
Kanye said he will run as an Independent, as Trump is running as the Republican candidate, but says otherwise he would run as a Republican.
The billionaire, who is also a designer, said he “doesn’t know if I would use the word policy for the way I would approach things,” comparing it to when he started his Yeezy trainer line while also designing for Louis Vuitton.
He added: “We need to innovate the design to be able to free the mind at this time.”
On foreign policy, West says he “hasn’t developed it yet,” but added: “I’m focused on protecting America, first, with our great military. Let’s focus on ourselves first.”
Discussing abortion, he said: “I am pro-life because I’m following the word of the bible.”
He also said prayer should be reinstated in schools, believing that if you “reinstate in God’s state, in God’s country, the fear and love of God in all schools and organisations and you chill the fear and love of everything else.”
Kanye said ending police brutality and “cleaning up the chemicals” were also his priorities, while he is against capital punishment.
He said he would base his leadership model in the White House on the way Wakanda is run in the movie Black Panther, with a close link between the President and scientists.
Kanye told Forbes: “I’m gonna use the framework of Wakanda right now because it’s the best explanation of what our design group is going to feel like in the White House.
“That is a positive idea: you got Kanye West, one of the most powerful humans—I’m not saying the most because you got a lot of alien level superpowers and it’s only collectively that we can set it free.
“Let’s get back to Wakanda… like in the movie in Wakanda when the king went to visit that lead scientist to have the shoes wrap around her shoes.
“Just the amount of innovation that can happen, the amount of innovation in medicine—like big pharma—we are going to work, innovate, together.”
Who are his advisors?
Kim Kardashian-West, his wife, and Tesla billionaire Elon Musk have already endorsed Kanye, and he says they have been “talking about this for years.”
He also told Forbes: “I’m speaking with experts, I’m going to speak with Jared Kushner, the White House, with Biden.”
What happens next and who would Kanye run against in the race to the White House?
Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee, with current President Donald Trump running for a second term for the Republicans.
There are also at least 15 other candidates running for a variety of smaller parties or as independents, like Kanye.
The National Conventions, which take place in mid to late August, will confirm the candidates for the two main parties, who then campaign across the country in an attempt to win the support of voters.
People vote for one president and one vice president, but are actually voting for a group of people known as electors.
In the Electoral College system, each state gets a certain number of electors based on its total number of representatives in Congress.
Each elector casts one electoral vote following the general election; there are a total of 538 electoral votes. The candidate that gets more than half (270) wins the election.
The president-elect and vice president-elect take the oath of office and are inaugurated in January.