Kanye West

Kanye West Tweets That He's Running for President

He does not appear to have told the Federal Elections Commission yet.

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Kanye West, the hip hop and fashion mogul whose public moves in the past few years have included a controversial flirtation with MAGA-ism and a turn toward pure Christian messaging in his music, chose the nation's birthday to announce this via tweet:

The Federal Election Commission's website shows no sign yet that he's done any of the legal filings to really run for the office. But he has already cleared what may be the most important hurdle toward such endeavors: the public support of his wife, Kim Kardashian West, who retweeted his announcement with apparent approval, adding merely a flag icon to her husband's declaration. Tech mogul Elon Musk is also already backing Kanye's candidacy.

As I pointed out in a 2019 Reason story, despite his oft-repeated fandom for President Donald Trump, the only specific policy issues West has been public about supporting are criminal justice reform, getting more jobs into American cities, and gun control. He and Kim Kardashian West have been effective lobbyists for prison reform, both generically and in the specific matter of getting the nonviolent drug offender Alice Johnson out of prison.

After being discouraged by public attacks over his Trump support in 2019, West tweeted, as my Reason article reported:

some of the things he stands for politically, including "holding people who misuse their power accountable." He continued: "I believe in love and compassion for people seeking asylum and parents who are fighting to protect their children from violence and war….I support creating jobs and opportunities for people who need them the most, I support prison reform, I support common-sense gun laws that will make our world safer."

He also tweeted that moving forward he'd be "distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative !!!" but it's an artist's prerogative to change his mind.

West has been talking presidential ambitions since 2015. One imagines that he intends to run as an independent, if he ends up going through with it at all.

It's not too late for him to pull it off, if he's willing to spend some of his millions. As per a useful chart from the indefatigable Richard Winger in the April 2020 issue of his irreplaceable newsletter Ballot Access News, only five three states are already past their deadlines for getting on the ballot as an independent presidential candidate: Indiana, New Mexico, and Texas.**

Such deadlines are looming very close (within two weeks) in six other states: Delaware, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Oklahoma, and South Carolina.

The petitioning requirements for an independent run are in most cases easier than for a full third party. Of the states whose deadlines are not already past or within two weeks, only six seven require 10,000 or more signatures for an independent candidate's ballot access: Arizona, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, and Oregon.**

Petitioning is a problem solvable with money and organization, though obviously way trickier in a pandemic year, when finding strangers to ask for signatures in public is a lot harder than usual. But it isn't impossible, and the Libertarian Party aleady won one lawsuit connected with petition requirements that seem objectively unreasonable given COVID-19.

West is a mercurial character, and you shouldn't bet a lot that a real campaign will follow this announcement. But it wouldn't be impossible.

**Correction: The original posting listed Illinois and New York as states for which the petition deadline had already passed, as per the April 2020 Ballot Access News chart. Richard Winger, the editor, informs via e-mail that the legal circumstances have changed since then and those states deadlines are pushed back.

 

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  1. I’m going to say it – the best President’s in my lifetime have been entertainers.

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    2. “the best President’s in my lifetime have been entertainers”

      Get an education, clinger. Start with standard English.

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      1. What a racists you are to insist there is a right way to write English.

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    4. Really Agammamon? The only actor who was president would be Reagan. Reagan, really? He is the reason you have underfunded schools and “homeless” people on the streets. Definitely the best president ever.

      Kanye West is good at getting himself in the public eye but he’s best known for being a second rate rapper. If he has no influence with his current career how do you figure that he could pull off being the president of the United States? He has nothing worth saying as a rapper and thus he would have nothing worth saying, or more importantly doing, as the president. This is another stunt to garnish attention where attention is not deserved.

  2. The New York petitioning period was rescheduled due to COVID-19. It is currently ongoing for the month of July. Kanye would have to collect 30,000 signatures.

    1. This may very well be the most brilliant thing that Trump has ever, or will ever do. Kanye will be amply rewarded.

      1. The smell of desperation.

  3. Is he against drug prohibition?

  4. Run Kanye, Run !

    1. You named one of your roosters Kanye? Did you drop some sick beats on him?

  5. Well, this should be entertaining.

    1. Fuck off moron.

      1. Kanye won’t run on the White Trash platform since Trump has that one cornered.

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        2. So you’re actually voting for him, I see.

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    2. As entertaining as the kiddie porn you love so much?

  6. Okay, this could be just silly self-promotional bullshit. But if he gets on the ballot in places like Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia, Michigan, Minnesota, and Nevada, Biden is in major trouble.

    1. You’re living in the past. This guy is a has been which explains his embrace of Trump and this pathetic stunt.

      1. This guy is a has been
        Maybe for the le bon ton crowd in Portland, Manhattan and Georgetown, but in the orbit the rest of us Hoi Polloi occupy he’s still pretty popular.

        1. Really? Exactly when was he ever popular? Oh wait, my 4 year old digs him, wait. He just turned 5 and now he’s lost interest. Popular… pssha!

        1. “When the official word came out, we learned tickets would be available starting Thursday for nothing.”

          1. Do you understand the time frame?

            For example, if you put out tickets for people to hear you, you could wait for eternity for even that first click.

            You made the claim he is a has been.

            1. He’s NOT a has been. He’s a NEVER been!

        2. At least Kayne is a RICH has been.
          There’s nothing more depressing than a has been living in dire poverty.

        3. We get it, Jesse, you love Kanye. Good for you. Surprised: no one.

          1. Ever since Kanye said he was keen on Jesus, Chipper’s fedora has been tipping in rage.

      2. A “has-been” implies that they’ve actually accomplished something pretty significant in the past. Certainly makes them more relevant than a never-was whose life pinnacle will be getting the street hooker to give you a discount on that hand-job.

        1. Red Rocks?? WTF is that?

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    2. >Okay, this could be just silly self-promotional bullshit.

      I’m still not convinced Trump thought he could win when he started running; at the time I figured he was just trying to get publicity for his book.

      I don’t think this guy will have an impact, but obviously I don’t have a good handle on what appeals to voters.

      1. Trump seemingly didn’t think through what would happen if he won, anyway. He made a ton of shitty nominations because he didn’t have a sufficient political apparatus to winnow down potential nominees. He had to grab some old cast-offs like John Bolton, or just assholes like Jeff Sessions for their willingness to stand with him. This, of course, also led to large parts of his own administration actively working against him once he was in place.

        1. It’s too clever by half to claim that Trump never actually wanted to be President. He’s talked about it off and on for over 30 years, and even tried making a run for the Reform nomination before dropping out.

          He’s never been as nakedly power-thirsty as Hillary was, but getting the Presidency is something he’s wanted for a long time.

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  9. ” . . . but it’s an artist’s prerogative to change his mind. ”

    However, now that he is a politician, he can never, ever again change his mind, or he will become a weak minded, gullible, flip-flopper.

  10. I’m going to take two words from the West quote and launch a diatribe—

    Any measure described by its principal advocates as “common sense” should be defeated. Invoking common sense isn’t making an argument for one’s proposal; it’s a way of avoiding having to make an argument. The fact that someone’s invoked it strongly suggests that they can’t actually come up with cogent reasons for believing as they do.

    I’m sure that most of the readership here will agree regarding “common-sense gun regulations”. However, we should apply the same principle to measures that we’re inclined to favor—”common-sense limitations on police power”, “common-sense reforms of drug laws”, &c., &c. If there’s a good case for these, make it, and don’t fall back on a phrase that suggests there’s no good case to be made.

    1. Kinda like the common sense flat earth?

    2. Thomas Paine would like a word.

      1. If you are writing a coherent 20,000 word pamphlet discussing the nature and theory of government, you’re clearly not using “common sense” as a justification for avoiding discussion.

    3. No, I think if you’re starting from premises that most people accept as a matter of course, you can and should call it common sense. Of course when you consider the premises most people accept as a matter of course, you can get to contradictory conclusions, but they’re all common sense, and you get to be the one who chooses the premises and therefore the conclusion if you claim the mantle of common sense first. So why not do it and be the one?

    4. You’re getting your rappers confused. Common is a different guy.

    5. Invoking common sense isn’t making an argument for one’s proposal; it’s a way of avoiding having to make an argument.

      Black Lives Matter.

  11. I hope he wins the nomination at the Democratic National Convention.

  12. Hopefully if he’s not on the ballot then Black Americans will do the right thing and write him in and show that their lives matter.

  13. Never heard of him.

    1. So much edge.

  14. Kanye West Takes Black Vote From Biden

    Kanye 2020!

    1. Indeed!

  15. “He does not appear to have told the Federal Elections Commission yet.”

    Why is this still a requirement, now that we live in the age (and nation) of Twitter?

  16. Remove Twitter and the media wouldn’t know what to do.

    1. ENB would have to resort to Googling her Reason Roundup material

  17. Ye vs The People (rap song w/ TI where he raps about his politics)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swQWUa5-9TM


    1. [Kanye West:]
      See that’s the problem with this damn nation
      All Blacks gotta be Democrats, man, we ain’t made it off the plantation
      [Kanye West:]
      I feel an obligation to show people new ideas
      And if you wanna hear ’em, there go two right here
      Make America Great Again had a negative reception
      I took it, wore it, rocked it, gave it a new direction
      Added empathy, care and love and affection
      And y’all simply questionin’ my methods

  18. More from Kanye:

    “I’m a black guy with a red [MAGA] hat, can you imagine? …It reminded me of how I felt as a black guy before I was famous, when I would walk in a restaurant and people would look at you like you were going to steal something. ‘This is your place, Ye, don’t talk about apparel. This is your place, Ye, you’re black, so you’re a Democrat,'” he told the magazine.

    Kanye has been one of the most open black celebrities on the assumptions of race and politics. The move Uncle Tom that just came out goes into it much more deeply. With all the movie reviews this site does, weird Reason has not talked about the Uncle Tom documentary in contrast with BLM.

  19. Kanye West and downscale clingers deserve each other.

    1. Look, the little bigot is mad a black person left the plantation.

    2. Yes, you are an old school white supremacist. We know that dumb ass. You don’t need to remind everyone constantly.

      1. Open wider, clingers.

        Your betters will shove even more progress down your throats; why not make getting stomped into irrelevance in the culture war easier on yourselves?

        Be nicer, or we might start positioning that progress sideways before we shove.

        Either way, you will comply. As usual. But you get to whine and rant all you want.

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          1. Half-educated clingers who don’t understand (and who disdain) science are among my favorite culture war casualties.

            Mostly because I like having hapless rubes on the other side of the culture war.

            1. You didn’t even graduate high school. So fuck off.

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  20. He had me right up until gun control.

    1. Only been out of Chicago for about a decade. Many many years of it bled into him.

      But even then his opinion is more nuanced that it appears here.

      “The problem is illegal guns. Illegal guns is the problem, not legal guns,” West said. “We have the right to bear arms.”

      https://www.newsweek.com/kanye-west-nra-gun-laws-1165683

    2. I really don’t care if West is for gun control. I’m not voting for him. He’s not going to win. He’s a black Ross Perot. If being for gun control pulls more voters from Biden than not being for gun control, then Kanye, say that you’ll ban all of the guns. Whatever Biden voters want to hear.

  21. 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

    Kanye is a Bush Republican.

    1. What are all the child porn sites down this morning? Can’t you just use your own stache or something rather than come here?

    2. Actually that’s not really accurate Mr. Buttplug. Bush Republicans (David Frum, Bill Kristol, etc.) are with us on #TeamJoe.

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    4. Hey Kiddie Raper. Too bad you’re not dead yet. I’ve been hoping some angry parent will torture you to death for revenge on one of your young victims.

  22. Finally, a Pat Paulsen for the new millenium.

  23. Common sense gun laws are of a kind with:

    * common sense slavery
    * common sense Jim Crow
    * common sense Nuremberg laws
    * common sense Sharia

  24. Please John, you’re just mad the Con Man’s snake oil cure that you sucked out of his dick didn’t cure your down syndrome. Now that Kanye’s dong is on the table you don’t know which washed up mongoloid you want abusing your face… Oh well, I’m sure if you keep sucking something good might happen!

    1. You’re still touting the surgisphere backed studies and not the latest study?

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      1. Fuck you faggot.

        1. AHAHAHAHAHHAAH YOU MAD!!!!

        2. Pro pedo, anti science?

        3. Hahahahahahahahaha

          I love that Tulpa can make fucktards like you and Kirkland show your racist bigot piece of shit stripes so easily.

          Hahahahaha

        4. Cry some more loser

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  26. Kanye will balance the budget and reduce debt by reigning in Congressional spending.

    I’m not saying Congress is a gold digger, but…

    1. Under a Kanye administration, will it become acceptable to call senators and congressmen “nigga” or “dawg”?

  27. Before Mr. Kayne can run for president, we all need to look at his rap sheet.
    Sorry.
    I couldn’t resist.

    1. Man, I just wish we could have seen him debate Ross Perot.

      “Can I finish? Can I finish!?”

      “Imma let you finish!”

  28. Good to know Reason is more closely following the electoral ambitions of Kanye West of all people than their own candidate Jo Jorgensen.

    1. IMHO they’re both about equally libertarian.

      Besides, libertarianism is a philosophy, not some idiot political party.

  29. Very late in the game to try to run for President. Almost impossible to get on the ballot in all fifty states anytime as a third party or independent candidate, but more so even this late. West’s support for Trump will have Democrats screaming that he is only doing it to take the black vote away from Biden. Could be true or not, but not illegal in America. The last one that did that was Perot, and he took votes from Bush, leading to the Bill Clinton presidency. That is how our system works.

  30. I think it may be time to bring Brawndo to market now.

    1. Well, it does mutilate thirst.

    2. I don’t get this Idiocracy comparison that keeps coming up.
      How is Kanye like President Comancho?
      That’s like comparing Paul McCartney and John Cena.
      It strikes me as racist, honesly.

  31. Sure. Why not? The first election I could vote in was 1980. Jimmy Carter versus Ronald Reagan. I thought that they were two absurd choices and that we couldn’t possibly do any worse. Every election since then has proven me wrong. So, sure, let’s have Kanye in the race. For 2024, I suggest Justin Bieber versus Kim Kardashian.

    1. No no.
      2024: Tulpa vs. Rev. Kirkland
      That would really be scraping the bottom of the barrel.

      1. Fuck off Lying Jeffy.

    2. I thought Bieber was Canadian.

      1. He is.

        As Canadian as Guy Lafleur.

    3. I would vote twice to see Kim Kardashian in the white house for 8 years.

  32. Please, please, please let Ye make it to a debate. I thought Trump-Biden was going to be good, but adding Kanye would be epic.

    1. Especially since he’d keep grabbing their mics.

    2. I wanted him in the Democrat debates, but seeing him between Trump and Biden would be even better.

  33. If Kanye does run, the dems are in deep shit. They won’t be able to tell Black people not to vote for him without coming across as racist because they will have to finally admit that they only really want them to vote for Black candidates who act white like Obama, Kamla and Corey Booker. I would definitely consider voting for him over Jo Jorgensen because he would be a lot better than the two other options and could actually win the popular vote at least.

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  39. Well, good for him but I have 100% confidence that the American voter will make the right choice. Wait a minute, I take that back. No I don’t!

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  42. Not going to happen. He has already missed the filing deadlines in more than half the US States and Territories. All of you should know this. This is not news. It’s not possible for 2020
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