Kanye West ended a rambling 11-minute speech at last night’s MTV Video Music Awards in typical Kanye fashion – by announcing his bid for presidency.
“It’s about ideas, bro,” he told the captivated audience at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. “New ideas. People with ideas. People who believe in truth. And yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.”
And with that, Mr. West dropped the microphone and walked off stage. It was the most outlandish moment in a night filled with them, reinforcing West’s legacy as one of the most eccentric popular artists of our time.
While “Kanye 2020” is far from certain, West wouldn’t be the first celebrity-turned-politician – nor even the first celebrity-turned-president. Republican Ronald Reagan was a Hollywood actor before he was elected governor of California in 1966 and to the White House in 1980.
Sonny Bono of “Sonny and Cher” fame served first as mayor of Palm Springs from 1988 to 1992 before winning a seat in the US House of Representatives in 1994 as a Republican. But his political career was tragically cut short in 1995, when he died in a skiing accident near Lake Tahoe.
Jessie Ventura made his name in professional wresting before serving as the Independent governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003. Democrat Al Franken currently represents the state in Washington as its junior senator, a seat he won in 2008 after working for years as a professional comedian.
Then there’s Donald Trump, who broke into the US popular culture spotlight as host of “The Apprentice” for 14 seasons on NBC. Mr. Trump’s brash and outspoken personality has helped lead him to the front of the crowded race for the Republican presidential nominee. The Des Moines Register reports that 61 percent of respondents in a recent Iowa poll view him favorably, up 19 points since May.
Maybe a presidential run by West isn’t so crazy after all.