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Who Is Michelle Tidball, Kanye West's Vice President Pick?

Photo: Yarash.org
Who Is Michelle Tidball, Kanye West's Vice President Pick?

When Kanye West announced that he was running for president, it caught a lot of people off guard. His entry into the race was not something many people would have predicted, even in 2020, a year full of strange twists and turns.

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One of the people who might have been the most surprised by his bid for the highest office in the land is Michelle Tidball, the obscure Wyoming-based preacher he said would be his Vice Presidential pick. Tidball, an online spiritual coach who specializes in Bible study, wasn't part of any announcement from the West campaign and she never even confirmed her willingness to participate. As the world speculated whether or not West was serious about running and West himself kept tweeting erratic things, Tidball stayed silent.

Who is Michelle Tidball, Kanye West's Vice President pick?

Michelle Tidball almost died of SIDS.

Tidball is 57 years old and lives in Wyoming where she runs an online business giving spiritual guidance. She recently revamped her website, taking off some key information including her bio. Luckily, screenshots are forever and some quick-thinking internet sleuths archived it so we have access to a bit of background on her. In the now-deleted About Me page, she says she nearly slipped into "crib death" when she was six months old but she was saved by the direct intervention of God. She says she remembers the incident and recalls being in a "hospital tent" when God first visited her and "spoke life."

Her mother has not come forward to confirm or deny this story. In fact, we don't know who her mother is. 

Tidball provides spiritual coaching online.

Tidball's new website advertises her services as a life coach with an emphasis on religion as a tool for a better life. Among the issues Tidwell can help you deal with are relationships, business dealings, general life coaching, and overcoming addiction and obstacles. She does not list any qualifications for addiction counseling, though her old bio assures readers that she has "various degrees in mental health and criminal justice."

Tidball doesn't specify what those degrees are or where she acquired them. She doesn't list prices but allegedly she charges $65 for a 50-minute coaching session. She is also available as a speaker, Bible study leader, and host of a series of feasts mentioned in the book of Leviticus. Her site also has a donation page but the money doesn't go to a Tidball/West campaign. There is no mention of Kanye West on her site at all, as a client, a friend, or as a running mate. 

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Tidball's mental health advice is questionable.

Despite her claims that she is fully versed in mental health issues, there are recordings of her giving advice that isn't very professional-sounding. Her prescription for mental illness includes better housekeeping. "If you would get up every day and make your bed and do your dishes — you would be better," she says in the recording, before confessing that in her years of treating mental illness none of her patients have ever made their beds or done their dishes. We don't know if she means that literally or figuratively but it seems like she is saying that she has never successfully solved mental health problems in her patients. 

Michelle Tidball is a fringe religious figure. 

She is a dental professional.

When she's not coaching people through life and telling them to make their beds, she works in a dentist's office according to residents of Cody, Wyoming where she lives and where the Kardashian-West family spends a lot of time on their property there.

One of her neighbors, who once hired her to do a mentoring program for local kids, mentioned being a patient at her practice but he didn't specify what she does in the office. She could be a dental assistant, an administrative professional, or a DDS. Her website doesn't talk about her day job in dentistry.

Tidball's main interest is religion.

The folks who know her say she has an impressive knowledge about the Bible. "Michelle has spent considerable time studying the Torah," says Wallace Johnson, the man who hired her as a youth leader.

Mary Keller, a profession of religious studies has known Tidball for a while and can see why she appeals to someone like West. "Michelle was the bubbly, charismatic cheerleader,” Keller said. “I think she knows Hebrew pretty well.” Keller said Tidball considers herself an online prophet and networks with other people she thinks are in touch with the divine. That could include West who has talked a lot about religion in recent years. 

Johnson, who once worked for Richard Nixon, has a vision for Tidball and West in the future and it doesn't involve the White House. "I never thought Kanye had a theology of his own, but maybe he’s developing one. I don’t want to call it a cult, but that’s what a new religion is. Michelle could help with that. She’s very persuasive.” 

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. She is the creator of the blog FeminXer and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.