Americans looking for alternatives at the ballot box got one over the Fourth of July weekend when rapper/ entrepreneur Kayne West signaled his intention to run for president in 2020. The 43-year-old Atlanta, Georgia native made his announcement official on Twitter …
West – also an erstwhile Trump supporter – has made multiple proclamations about campaigning for president dating back to 2015, although prior to his Fourth of July tweet he had indicated he would seek the office in 2024. While it is not immediately clear what caused him to rethink his timing, his 2020 candidacy – assuming it is for real – comes with a host of logistical challenges.
West has already missed deadlines to appear on the ballot as an independent or petition candidate in six states – Indiana, Maine, New York, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas – and deadlines are approaching in multiple other states within the next few days.
So, the first issue he will need to address is eligibility (especially considering only seven states in the nation currently allow unrestricted write-in voting).
West must also navigate his prior support for Trump, as well as rumors that his candidacy intends to benefit the president by siphoning black votes away from U.S. vice president Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
“I love this guy right here,” West said of Trump during a 2018 Oval Office meeting, walking behind the famous Resolute desk to give the president a hug.
During their meeting, Trump hinted that West could “very well be” a presidential candidate one day.
“Only after,” West responded, referring to the tenure of the incumbent.
“That’s good,” Trump responded. “I’m glad to hear that.”
(Click to view)
(Via: The White House)
Biden’s appeal with black voters – which propelled him to a miraculous, come-from-behind victory in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary – has been tested in recent months. In late May, the 77-year-old career politician told podcast host Charlamagne Tha God that if black voters didn’t know whether they were supporting him in the fall, they weren’t black.
“I’ll tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” Biden said.
He later apologized for being too “cavalier” in his comments.
Last month, Biden stepped in it again … responding to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota by suggesting police officers should shoot suspects in the leg as opposed to the heart.
“Instead of standing there and teaching a cop when there’s an unarmed person coming at ‘em with a knife or something, to shoot ‘em in the leg instead of in the heart,” Biden said.
Ummmm … unarmed? With a knife?
Biden is also vulnerable with black voters owing to his prior support for segregation and his 1977 comments about not wanting his children to “grow up in a racial jungle.” He has also faced criticism for authoring a 1994 crime bill that civil rights leaders argue has disproportionately targeted minorities for imprisonment.
Biden’s bill was signed by former president Bill Clinton. Years later, however, Clinton distanced himself from the legislation.
“I signed a bill that made the problem worse,” Clinton said in July of 2015. “And I want to admit it.”
If West is serious about campaigning over the next four months, he could clearly do significant damage to Biden’s standing with black Americans … although again, it remains to be seen if he will even make the ballot in most states, let alone actively campaign.
As of this writing, the 2020 race appears to be shaping up as the same binary choice that has confronted Americans for decades: The red pill versus the blue pill.
WANNA SOUND OFF?
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