Kimye future First Couple of US?

The speech about running for US presidency in 2020 by Kanye West (left, with wife Kim Kardashian) has sparked satirical memes on social media.
The speech about running for US presidency in 2020 by Kanye West (left, with wife Kim Kardashian) has sparked satirical memes on social media.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LOS ANGELES • Images of Kanye West's face on Mount Rushmore and a potential takeover of the White House by the Kardashian reality television clan fired up social media on Monday, a day after the rapper virtually hijacked the rambunctious MTV Video Music Awards as he declared he planned to run for United States president in 2020.

West, who is married to Kim Kardashian, sparked dozens of satirical memes on social media after his rambling speech on Sunday.

He won the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, essentially a lifetime achievement trophy. When he took the stage, he soaked in the applause, standing silent for almost two full minutes.

And then, for 10 minutes, he floated through a speech covering the importance of the artist's opinion, the cynicism of MTV, the tears of Justin Timberlake when he lost at the 2007 Grammys and a joking announcement of a presidential run.

He veered towards apologising for having interrupted Taylor Swift's award acceptance speech six years ago.

He also admitted he had "rolled up a little something" to prepare for his speech.

Although most viewers saw West's presidential declaration as a joke, a Maryland college student on Monday filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to set up a political action committee called Ready for Kanye.

Mr Eugene Craig III, 24, chairman of the Young Minority Republicans Fund, said he hoped West would consider running as a Republican in 2020.

"We think he is a champion of a lot of issues and he has an interesting perspective," said the student at Bowie State University.

The award show's top hashtag was #Kanye2020, according to social media analytics company NetBase.

The show became the most- tweeted television programme since Nielsen began tracking Twitter TV activity in 2011, with about 21.4 million tweets sent in the US alone.

West's declaration of presidential ambitions triggered images of his face superimposed on Shepard Fairey's familiar 2008 Barack Obama Hope campaign poster and on Mount Rushmore alongside the sculptures of Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt.

Fantasy opinion polls showed West running ahead of Mr Donald Trump, who has been leading in polls among many Republican presidential contenders.

Another viral post placed Kardashian, as well as her sisters Khloe and Kourtney, outside the White House.

Music website Billboard suggested Jay Z as vice-president and Swift for the State Department.

On Sunday night, Kardashian took to social media for another reason: to belatedly acknowledge the side effects of a controversial morning-sickness drug she endorses.

The posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter carried the hashtag #CorrectiveAd. They followed an Aug 7 warning from the US Food and Drug Administration to drugmaker Duchesnay saying that Kardashian's original paid endorsement omitted important safety information.

Her timing on that request meant the posts were buried quickly. Her social media streams were soon overtaken by pictures of her at the show with West.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 02, 2015, with the headline 'Kimye future First Couple of US?'. Print Edition | Subscribe