Caitlyn Jenner is running for governor of California, but she really doesn’t want voters to consider the fact that she is a run-of-the-mill Republican who was a tepid supporter of Trump during the 2016 presidential election. Oh, and she’s against transgender kids in sports, too.
On Tuesday, the former Olympic decathlete and Keeping Up With the Kardashians regular released her first campaign ad, championing herself as a “compassionate disrupter” who is eager to bring back California from the brink of collapse and elitist takeover; this debauchery is defined by footage of homeless people, used vials, fires, as well as images of “career politicians” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Governor Gavin Newsom breaking covid-19 safety regulations to get a haircut and dine at a fancy restaurant, respectively.
“I came here with a dream 48 years ago to be the greatest athlete in the world,” Jenner said, gazing at medals as old photos from her Olympic days flash on the screen. “Now I enter a different kind of race, arguably my most important one yet: to save California.”
She continues: “I want to carry the torch for the parents who had to balance work and their child’s education, for business owners who were forced to shut down, for pastors who are not able to be with their congregation, or the family who lost their home in a fire, for an entire generation of students who lost a year of education.”
The ad is certainly flashy, with eye-catching cinematography interspersed with vintage reels of the California of old. Jenner leans heavily on the nostalgia factor, like someone who just discovered a bunch of Old Hollywood Instagram accounts. The ad has all the necessary aesthetic elements: Diversity, sweeping scenes of California’s natural beauty, and highlighting California’s various industries, from agriculture to film.
The only thing that’s off is Jenner.
Jenner hopes to replace current Governor Gavin Newsom, who may be ousted in a recall election. The last time California recalled its governor—Gray Davis in 2003—another Hollywood Republican took his place: Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. California might have gotten googly eyes for a celebrity politician back then, but following the Trump era and Kardashian-Jenner fatigue, Caitlyn Jenner’s gubernatorial chances may have an uphill climb.
Jenner’s ad doesn’t offer any concrete plans other than reopening businesses in the midst of covid, but maybe that’s because her actual plans would be a big turn-off to voters.
“I don’t care if you’re a Republican, Democrat, I’m running to be governor for all Californians,” Jenner says toward the end of the ad.
But Jenner is a Republican, who supports fracking, hates regulations, and wants to rely on “faith-based organizations” to do the job that the government is meant to do. She also recently came out in favor of legislation banning transgender children from school sports, noting that it’s “a question of fairness.” There is no evidence that transgender children have an unfair advantage in school sports over their cisgender peers, but the fact that Jenner, a transgender woman, is parroting this anti-trans talking point has delighted the right and TERFs alike.
But what can anyone expect from someone who once said that Trump would be “very good for women’s issues”... but didn’t actually bother voting for him? In fact, Politico reports that, at 71-years-old, Jenner’s voting record is utterly scant, and she didn’t even vote in the gubernatorial election that made Newsom a victor in 2018 or even Schwarzenegger’s blockbuster win nearly two decades ago.
Who’s more ready to be the governor of the most populous state in the nation than a woman who didn’t even bother voting for governor last time?