The 43-year-old rapper first declared he was going to run for office during his acceptance speech for the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the 2015 Video Music Awards.
“I don’t know what I stand to lose after this, it don t matter though, because it ain’t about me, it’s about new ideas, bro, new ideas. People with ideas, people who believe in truth,” he said at the time. “And yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.”
While West admitted he didn’t vote in the 2016 election, he went on to express his love for President Donald Trump. Kim, for her part, publicly supported Hillary Clinton. The couple, who wed in 2014, share four kids: North, Saint, Chicago and Psalm.
“They’ve always had their own opinions and been their own people,” a source told Us Weekly of the pair in 2018. “This is the Kanye that Kim has always known.”
Two years later, West tweeted that he was throwing his hat in the race for the 2020 election against Trump and Joe Biden.
“Kanye has been planning this for years and Kim has known about his aspirations and has been supportive,” a second insider told Us in July 2020. “Kanye is passionate about arts and education and wants to support in any way he can.”
West later detailed his plans to Forbes, noting that his vice president would be Michelle Tidball, a preacher from Wyoming. He also said his campaign slogan would be “YES!” and he was running under what he referred to as the Birthday Party.
“Because when we win, it’s everybody’s birthday,” he declared before addressing his opponents. “I’m not saying Trump’s in my way, he may be a part of my way. And Joe Biden? Like come on man, please. You know? [Barack] Obama’s special. Trump’s special. We say Kanye West is special. America needs special people that lead. Bill Clinton? Special. Joe Biden’s not special.”