Rapper Kanye West sent a jolt through the political and entertainment world on Sunday night when he announced he would run for president in 2020.
Now, the White House has responded.
Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One today, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest jokingly welcomed a potential presidential bid from the 38-year-old rapper, saying he looks “forward to seeing what slogan he chooses to embroider on his campaign hat.”
So what could West's presidential campaign slogan be? He may have offered a hint in his speech at the VMAs -- “It’s about ideas, bro.”
"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 ideas, bro, new ideas. People with ideas, people who believe in truth,” West said while accepting the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the VMAs Sunday night. “And yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.” (Mic drop.)
If the rapper-turned-presidential-aspirant does decide to mount a 2020 run, West shouldn’t expect a glowing endorsement from President Obama. After all, the president has called him a “jack---” twice -- first in 2009 after West interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the VMAs, then again in a 2012 interview with The Atlantic.
“He is a jack---,” Obama told the Atlantic in 2012. “But he’s talented.”
Obama also called out West earlier this year for claiming the president calls him on his home phone.
“I’ve met Kanye twice,” Obama told Jimmy Kimmel earlier this year. “The first time was when I was a senator and he was with his mom. He’d just gotten big. He’s from Chicago, so they wanted to meet, and he was very soft-spoken and very gracious. He was a young guy, and hadn’t quite come into his own. And about six months ago, he came to an event and, look, I love his music and he’s incredibly creative. I don’t think I’ve got his home number.”
West's decision to float a presidential bid instantly hit social media with mock campaign posters and suggestions for a running mate:
Kanye 2020 will have by far the best ropeline music in presidential history— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) August 31, 2015
In the greatest twist humankind has ever know Kanye selects Taylor Swift as his VP candidate #KanyeForPresident— Meara Brady (@itsmearabrady) August 31, 2015