Did Jimmy Kimmel Convince Kanye West to Run For President in 2020?
Artist Kanye West announced his 2020 presidential run in July of the same year. However, this isn’t the first time he’s said something to that effect. When did West initially come up with the idea, and did talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel have anything to do with it?
Kanye West is running for president
West announced on July 4, 2020, that he planned to run for president. With just months to come before the election, he began to take steps to get his name on the ballot in multiple states. On July 19, West held a rally in South Carolina, which brought further critique.
After being an ardent supporter of Donald Trump since before his election in 2016, some were surprised to see West run against him. But West told Forbes that the Trump administration “looks like one big mess to me,” suggesting that he and Democratic candidate Biden “gracefully bow out” of the race.
There are those both for and against his run
Over the next month, many weighed in, from journalists to the public. Other celebrities also joined the conversation. West’s mental health was called into question, and his wife, Kim Kardashian West, released a statement via her Instagram Stories, asking for compassion from the media during this time.
While some support West’s campaign, others, like his long-time friend John Legend, are wary of his intentions. On August 5, Legend retweeted a Vice article that posits West is running with the help of the GOP to hurt Biden’s chances, writing, “Just in case anyone needs some clarity around what’s happening here.”
Jimmy Kimmel seemingly told him he could be president
In Jimmy Kimmel Live interview in August 2018, West didn’t address the subject directly. He discussed his passion for design, his family, a controversial track he wrote, and, of course, his support for Trump. However, at the very end, the host and the rapper have an exchange that could be construed as Kimmel encouraging West to run.
“I don’t know anyone that f*cked up as much as I have that’s still successful. So I wanna prove that you can get fat, you could say the wrong things, you can p*ss a whole city off…” Kimmel interrupted, “And you can be president of the United States.” West agreed, and Kimmel added, “There’s one person.”
West had announced his intentions years before
Though Kimmel is referring to Trump, he appears to be insinuating that West, despite his mistakes, could also be president. But this wasn’t entirely out of left field. At the MTV Video Music Awards three years earlier, West, during his acceptance speech for the Video Vanguard award, declared his intentions.
After saying he “ain’t no politician,” West announced his plans to change that. “I have decided in 2020 to run for president,” West said during his speech, as shared by The Hollywood Reporter. In the aforementioned Forbes article, the artist said he came to this decision not long before the event.