New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has jovially refused to give any advice to Kanye West following news of his plan to run for US President this year.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, a reporter brought up the topic of West’s Presidential bid, causing Ardern to admit she doesn’t have “any inside information” on the matter.
“You’re asking me what my advice for Kanye West is?” she responded incredulously. “It may not surprise you. I can’t say I have any advice for Kanye West for running for the American presidency.”
While the exchange was in good humour, it appears as though the recently-announced Presidential bid from the rapper is completely serious, with its roots branching back at least five years.
Announcing his candidacy over the weekend, West broke the news by explaining that America “must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future”.
We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States 🇺🇸! #2020VISION
— ye (@kanyewest) July 5, 2020
For those who have paid attention to West over the last few years, this wouldn’t come as a surprise. In fact, his apparent close friendship with sitting President Donald Trump has raised some eyebrows amongst his followers, with the controversial politician even going so far as to label the musician a “genius”.
“He’s been a friend of mine. I’ve known him for a long time. He’s a very different kind of a guy – I say that in a positive way,” Trump told Fox & Friends in 2018. “Those that are in the music business say he’s a genius, and that’s OK with me because as far as I’m concerned he is.”
However, West had hinted at a Presidential run back in 2015, revealing at the MTV Video Music Awards that year he would run for office in 2015. Speaking as the then-Republican frontrunner, Trump went so far as to express his hope he would one day be able to go head to head with the musician.
“He’s actually a different kind of person than people think. He’s a nice guy,” Trump explained. “I hope to run against him someday.”
Despite this previous endorsement from Trump, and despite receiving the backing of notable names such as Tesla boss Elon Musk and wife Kim Kardashian, Kanye West’s Presidential bid may in fact be too late.
As the ABC reports, most political parties have already selected their candidate for the 2020 campaign, while if West decides to run as an independent, he’s likely left it too late to get on the ballot in many states – including larger states such as Texas, Illinois, and New York.
At this stage, it remains to be seen whether or not West will emerge as a viable candidate in the 2020 US Presidential election, but it’s clear that he won’t be receiving any sage advice from the likes of Jacinda Ardern.