We sort of knew he wasn’t kidding, but we also didn’t expect him to be quite so earnest about it.
In case you missed it, this year’s MTV Video Music Awards saw Kanye West receiving a Video Vanguard Award, an award for lifetime achievement. During his much-punctuated and difficult to follow, 15-minute speech, Kanye West announced he was running for president in 2020, and then promptly dropped the mic.
Kim Kardashian West stood in the audience with her mouth open, clapping and probably imagining herself as the sexiest First Lady that ever was. And as a fan, I have to say that it’s a picture I’m not entirely against.
Kanye soon embroiled Taylor Swift into this endeavor, sending her flowers and popularizing the hashtag “#KanTay2020.” We all know Kanye is opinionated and political-minded, but imagining the rapper/designer would actually run for president was always sort of a ridiculous notion. Of course it was all just bluster.
Although, if we think about it, is it any more ridiculous than Donald Trump running?
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Kanye seems to suggest that it’s not just a pipe dream: he’s seriously thinking about running in five years. He wants to get a PhD, study political science apparently, and dress Kim up in the best string of pearls he can find.
When Vanity Fair asked if he was “still thinking of running in 2020,” Kanye responded with an unequivocal, “Oh, definitely.”
I didn’t approach that because I thought it would be fun. It wasn’t like, Oh, let’s go rent some jet skis in Hawaii. No, the exact opposite. I sit in clubs and I’m like, Wow, I’ve got five years before I go and run for office and I’ve got a lot of research to do, I’ve got a lot of growing up to do. My dad has two masters degrees. My mom has a PhD, she used to work at Operation PUSH. Somehow the more and more creative I get, the closer and closer I get to who I was as a child. When I was a child, I was holding my mom’s hand at Operation PUSH. I think it’s time. Rap is great.
Can you just imagine Kanye sitting in clubs, contemplating a presidential run? Most of the time, the people who run for president are career politicians, save for the likes of perhaps Carly Fiorina and Donald Trump, who come from corporate backgrounds and are highly educated. Is the creative soul Kanye West going to measure up against his opponents? Can you imagine him on a debate stage, talking about plans to defeat ISIS?
And then VF asked the question that truly we were all waiting for: what about music and your fashion line?
The whole point is to have someone [in office] that’s creative, that’s around amazing creatives. This is my theory: I think the world can be helped through design, so it’s very important that I stay around creative, forward thinkers. It’s very important that I continue to design, to be in practice of trying to make the best decisions possible. I hate politics. I’m not a politician at all. I care about the truth and I just care about human beings. I just want everyone to win, that’s all I can say, and I think we can. . . .
Permit me to say that I think Kanye West is a bit like a starry-eyed child at the moment, and when his teacher asks him what he wants to be when he grows up, he innocently and with total conviction says, “I’m gonna be president.”