On the Fourth Of July, Kanye West announced on Twitter that he was running for president this year. Shortly thereafter, West sat for a truly unhinged Forbes interview, saying that he would be running as part of a new independent party called the Birthday Party — “because when we win, it’s everybody’s birthday” — and claiming that he wanted the White House to be run like Wakanda and that Planned Parenthood is a tool of white supremacists. According to some reports, West at least made semi-serious efforts to get onto the presidential ballot on a few states. But West’s campaign appears to be finished.
According to an Intelligencer report, West hired political operatives to get his name on the ballot in Florida and South Carolina. They needed to gather more than 100,000 signatures in Florida by the 7/15 deadline. The get-out-the-vote specialist Steve Kramer, one of the people who West allegedly hired, said that West’s team had been “working over weekend there, formalizing the FEC and other things that they’ve got to do when you have a lot of corporate lawyers involved” and that the initiative had “overwhelming support.” But shortly afterward, Kramer told Intelligencer, “He’s out.”
The deadline to get West on the ballot in states like Nevada has now passed. West hasn’t said anything official about the state of his campaign, but his presidential run is now an impossibility. Close the books on this episode.
UPDATE: Or maybe leave the book open just a bit for now. TMZ reports that Kanye filed his Statement Of Organization, the first form required by the Federal Election Commection, today, declaring that the Kanye 2020 committee will serve as the “Principal Campaign Committee” with West as its candidate. He has yet to file the more important second form, the Statement Of Candidacy, which shows that he’s raised or spent more than $5000 in campaign activity and triggers candidacy status under federal campaign finance law. But he is officially on the ballot in Oklahoma!