Candidate Kanye, You've Got Some Work to Do

West says he's running in 2020, but his deadlines are slipping by
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2020 8:47 AM CDT
Candidate Kanye, You've Got Some Work to Do
In this Jan. 13, 2020 file photo, Kanye West watches a a Los Angeles Lakers game.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill File)

Kanye West declared over the weekend that he was running for president in 2020. But there's a big difference between declaring a run and actually running, and it doesn't appear that West has made much, if any, progress on the staggering logistics involved. Publicity stunt? Devious political maneuver? The reaction is all over map. Coverage:

  • Options: They're limited. If he's serious about running this late in the game, West could get on the ballot by winning the endorsement of a smaller political party, reports Reuters. He could also try to get on the ballot as an independent candidate or ask his supporters to write him in.
  • Trouble: West doesn't appear to have filed as a candidate with the Federal Election Commission, notes People, and he's also already missed the deadline to be an independent candidate in several states. In states where it's not too late, the idea of getting enough volunteers to gather signatures amid a pandemic is daunting. And even as a write-in candidate, most states would require that he register in advance.

  • The politics: West has been a supporter of President Trump, and Politico rounds up some of the questions being asked: "How did West go from being a vocal ally of President Donald Trump to announcing a run against him? Is this an attempt to draw some Black voters and young voters away from presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden?"
  • The publicity: West has been talking about running for president for years without actually doing anything about it, and he "has a history of promoting himself and his projects with political statements," per CNN. As it happens, West is teasing a new album, notes Rolling Stone, and he just struck a deal for a line of clothing at the Gap.
  • On that note: "There are two types of people in this world: those who believe Kanye West is actually running for president, and those who know how album promotional cycles work," writes Bryan Rolli at Forbes. Rolli is squarely in the latter camp.
  • Please, don't: Even if he's not serious, a West run would be a "dangerous distraction" from the too-real issues of the pandemic and a divided nation, writes Dean Obeidallah at CNN. But for those all in favor of a distraction, be aware that fans of Taylor Swift want her to be on a ticket now, reports Billboard, and Hillary Duff also wants in on the I'm-running-for-president action.
(At least West isn't talking about changing his name as a candidate this time.)

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