As if 2020 couldn’t get any weirder, it now appears as though a new independent candidate has thrown his hat into the presidential ring, already attracting some big-name interest.
Rapper and entrepreneur Kanye West appeared to announce a 2020 presidential bid on Saturday, and he immediately received a pledge of support in that potential venture from billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, USA Today reported.
Musk supports Kanye for president
In an Independence Day tweet that temporarily turned the internet and social media upside down, West signaled his presidential ambitions to his nearly 30 million followers on the platform.
“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,” West tweeted, along with an American flag emoji and the hashtag “#2020VISION.”
Just moments after West posted that tweet, Musk, the billionaire founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, among other innovative ventures, let it be known that he had West’s back in the ambitious move.
In a reply to West’s announcement, Musk wrote, “You have my full support!”
Musk wasn’t alone in showing enthusiasm for West’s possible bid; among the nearly 1 million “likes” and half a million retweets was one from West’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, as well as from billionaire entrepreneur and NBA team owner Mark Cuban, who suggested that he’d support West over President Donald Trump if the former managed to get on the ballot in November.
It is noteworthy that West didn’t explicitly say he was running for president in this election cycle, despite his inclusion of the “#2020VISION” hashtag, and his words are open to interpretation, as he could simply be laying the groundwork for a future run in 2024.
That said, if he truly is planning to compete in 2020, the ballot access to which that Cuban alluded could prove to be a substantial hurdle to West’s presidential ambitions. USA Today noted that the eccentric rapper has already missed the filing deadline in several states, though he could potentially end up on the ballot in just as many more.
How a West candidacy would play in the current campaign environment is also something that is up for debate, and opinions vary widely as to whether he would, as a third-party independent candidate, siphon more votes away from President Trump or from presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
One thing West wouldn’t have to worry about if he actually runs, however, is campaign funding, as he is quite wealthy in his own right and, assuming Musk was serious about supporting him, he has an incredibly wealthy financier in his corner with plenty of cash and technical expertise at his disposal.
Is “Ye” a truly serious contender for the Oval Office, either this year or further down the road? Only time will tell.