Once again proving that bored rich people who are used to being on TV don't like not being on TV for too long and will do anything to get back on TV, Caitlyn Jenner has officially declared her candidacy for California Governor.
Privileged trans person Caitlyn Jenner, whose new campaign website and merch store features photos of her and her dog in her vintage Austin-Healey, posted to Twitter Friday morning, "I'm in!", surprising no one. Jenner was reported three weeks ago to be meeting with a Trump operative and Republican fundraiser to strategize and decide on a gubernatorial run, and it was clear to most of us that she wasn't going to miss an opportunity to spend some of her Kardashian money and grab the spotlight once again.
It's odd that Jenner would turn to Trumper Caroline Wren, who served as a "VIP advisor" to Trump's January 6th rally, because Jenner was vocal in the last couple of years in her disavowal of Trump himself. This was after several years of her stubbornly crowing to whoever would listen that Trump would be great for the country and great for LGBT people, which he was not.
But now Jenner, who's running as a Republican, will have to somehow convince California voters to forget that she wore that MAGA hat for years, because that shit doesn't fly in many parts of this state. Sure we have Republicans and Trump supporters here, but they are in the minority — and of those, who's gonna vote for Caitlyn over a cis straight white guy?
It's all moot anyway as polling suggests that the Newsom recall doesn't stand much of a chance — it's likely to happen though, as supporters of the recall appear to have collected enough signatures. California has swung more Democratic overall since 2003, when Republican action movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger eked out a win in the recall of Gray Davis. These days, Republicans only represent about 24% of the California electorate, and of Democrats, only 15% polled support the recall.
If/when the recall election happens in the coming months, the ballot will be separated into two questions: Should Gavin Newsom be recalled?, and If he's recalled, who would you want as governor? The barrier to entry is pretty low, with just $3,900 and 7,000 signatures required for a candidate to qualify.
Jenner is the biggest celebrity name to enter the race so far besides former porn star Mary Carey, who also ran in 2003.
"I have been a compassionate disrupter throughout my life, from representing the United States and winning a gold medal at the Olympics to helping advance the movement for equality," Jenner says in her first campaign press release. "As Californians we face a now-or-never opportunity to fundamentally fix our state before it's too late."
Jenner, 71, notes that California has been her home for 50 years, and "I came here because I knew that anyone, regardless of their background or station in life, could turn their dreams into reality." She adds, "But for the past decade, we have seen the glimmer of the Golden State reduced by one-party rule that places politics over progress and special interests over people. Sacramento needs an honest leader with a clear vision."
As the Associated Press notes, Jenner started calling herself "economically conservative [and] socially progressive" sometime last year. But it's not clear what her actual policies are besides the rote Republican "lower taxes" thing, and she has zero experience in local or state or federal government.
She does warn us, in the release, that she'll be traveling around the state in the coming weeks — mentioning the "North Bay" specifically — to listen to the voices of Californians and "finally get this state moving in the right direction."