Rapper and Trump supporter Kanye West shocked a slightly bemused America yesterday when he announced that he was running for president. Kanye made the announcement in a tweet that we covered here on Sparta Report.
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
Kanye himself hasn’t announced any further details, although his nascent campaign has apparently garnered the support of potential super villain Elon Musk.
The one thing Kanye did accomplish yesterday, however, was to set the punditry abuzz with speculation. Kanye has spoken in the past about wanting to run for the presidency, however many (myself included) had simply assumed he was waiting until 2024. I figured he would use his previous support of President Trump to run as Trump’s MAGA successor in the black community.
Kanye has chosen 2020, however, as his moment to launch his presidential campaign. The question is why? What effect does he hope to have on the 2020 race, and what could he possibly hope to gain at this juncture?
Shipwreckedcrew over at RedState has some pretty spot-on analysis of Kanye’s apparent presidential run:
Could this be an effort to throw a wrench into the VP selection process of Joe Biden? The Biden campaign, and Dem party in general, seem to be having difficulty in coming to a consensus on who the best “woman of color” might be to run on the ticket as his VP. Given Biden’s age, and obvious decline in his mental capacity, if he were to win, his VP might end up being President for more days between the two elections than Vice President. Also, Biden would be almost certain to not run for re-election, so Biden’s Vice President would have the benefit of virtual “incumbency” with regard to the Democrat party primary process leading up to 2024.
Is West offering himself up as a potential Biden Vice President selection? If that is, in fact, the back-channel message being sent, what risk would the Biden 2020 campaign run if they declined to consider him? Biden’s ability to secure the nomination is almost entirely attributable to solid support in the African-American community, and the view that he represents a third term of Obama Administration policies.
But Kanye West running as a Third Party candidate would certainly carve out for himself a very large slice from the African American vote that is otherwise destined to go to Joe Biden – and having Kamala Harris, Val Demmings, Karen Bass or some other African-American female as the VP on a Biden ticket is not going to change that.
Donald Trump proved what an out-sized celebrity with a gift for self-promotion can accomplish through free media. But Kanye West is also a media mogul in his own right, with the ability to spend tens of millions of dollars of his own money promoting his campaign. Two months ago Forbes Magazine pegged West’s net worth at $1.3 billion.
Kanye has always struck me as a dyed in the wool liberal when it comes to politics. His past criticism of President George W. Bush would seem to bear this out. Kanye and his wife Kim have also lobbied President Trump hard for prison reform, something seen as a traditionally liberal position.
Kanye’s previous and outspoken support of President Trump and MAGA shows, however, that Ye is not nearly as far Left as most of the entertainment industry. If anything, Kanye is probably center-left in his beliefs. No doubt he would consider himself a classic liberal Democrat in that regard. Kanye is also personally friendly with President Trump. I don’t see him making a run at the presidency in order to take down Orange Man Bad and provide Joementia with a viable VP choice going into the Democrat convention.
I think it’s more likely that Kanye is setting himself as a third party spoiler for Joementia. Biden is expected to get the traditional lion’s share of the black vote that Democrats always get come election time. There have been rumblings that the black community as a whole is starting to support President Trump more and more, but no one knows if that support will translate into votes in November.
Kanye running as a third party spoiler, however, obliterates Joementia’s already shaky support within the black community. Those black voters who are hardcore Democrats who would never support President Trump would see Kanye as a viable alternative to sure loser Joementia. Couple this with the rising number of black voters likely to support President Trump and you have a large portion of voters fleeing Joementia in record numbers. Likely enough to tip the popular vote and the electoral college to President Trump.
Shipwreckedcrew reached much the same conclusion later on in his article:
It West follows through and begins an effort to get ballot access, he’s going to change everything. Joe Biden’s “hold” on traditionally Democrat African-American voters goes out the window if Kanye West appears on ballots along side him. Battleground states in the Rust Belt that the Dems believe they currently have an advantage in based on significant African American populations such as in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio all become much less friendly with Kanye West taking away votes. Border and nominally southern states like Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida all slip away as well.
Shipwreckedcrew asks two questions at the end of his article: is Kanye West running as a favor to President Trump, and is Kanye setting himself up as Trump’s 2024 successor?
I think the answer to both questions is very likely yes.