By Reuters staff, Reuters | Rapper Kanye West on Monday released his first official campaign video in his long-shot bid to be elected U.S. president on Nov. 3, focusing on religion and families.
West, 43, who launched his campaign for the White House with erratic statements on his social media accounts in July, is on the official ballot in a handful of U.S. states, according to U.S. media, but has no mathematical chance of winning.
In Monday’s video, the musician and fashion designer asked supporters to vote for him as a write-in candidate.
“By turning to faith, we will be the kind of nation, the kind of people, that God intends us to be,” West says in the video, featuring families at prayer and nature shots.
The video was the first major bid by West, formerly one of President Donald Trump’s biggest celebrity supporters, to be taken as a serious contender for the White House. He has done little campaigning under his self-styled Birthday Party as concern grew over his mental health.
The “Heartless” singer, who has 21 Grammy awards, said in 2018 that he suffered from bipolar disorder.
Some political analysts believe that West’s run for office could siphon some Black supporters away from Democrat Joe Biden in the presidential election.
West has spent some $5.8 million on his campaign this year, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission. Most of the funding comes from a $6.7 million loan from himself.
His kanye2020.country website carries ads for hoodies, hats and t-shirts ranging from $40 to $160.
It also sets out a 10-point policy platform that includes reform of policing and the justice systems, reducing student debt, and restructuring the education system to better serve vulnerable people.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall
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Kanye West Promotes 2020 Campaign Merch During VP Debate
By Trace William Cowen, Complex | For whatever reason, this is going to be an article with the sole purpose of further drawing unnecessary attention to Kanye West’s most recent tweets, namely the ones about so-called campaign merch.
Notably, West shared this merch teases (and linked to the official Kanye 2020 site) amid Wednesday night’s VP debate that most compellingly saw a fly steal the show. Though you could just as easily seek the tweets out on your own, they’ve been embedded below and offer glimpses at the merch including a black VOTE KANYE hoodie and a pair of hats.
In one clip, West is seen watching the debate via a projector while holding the hats over the heads of Harris and Pence. Someone, somewhere, is probably actively mistaking this clip as some sort of profound statement.
As for the site, it reveals the prices for the pieces, which run from $40 for a VOTE hat all the way up to $200 for a bundle that includes a hoodie and a 2020 Vision hat. The site also includes West’s purported “platform,” which is broken down in a numbered list that includes a selection of bible verses.
And as for the actual election, Thursday morning was punctuated by back-to-back developments regarding the upcoming second presidential debate between Biden and Trump. Shortly after the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that the next one would opt for a virtual format due to reasons that are surely obvious to those with an operable brain, Trump hopped on the phone with Fox News to publicly back out of the event. Instead, according to his campaign manager, he’s going to hold another (presumably mask-averse) rally.
Later Thursday, West tweeted to let everyone know he had sold over 6,100 orders for an $864,980 gross. People like the purple hats the best.
Trace William Cowen is a writer based in Los Angeles. He tweets with dramatic irregularity here.
[Editor’s note: Makes you wonder if Kanye is REALLY running for president or if he has just found a neat, new way to sell his merchandise!!! Learning well from President Trump…]