By Marie Claire Editors published
It’s no secret that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been outspoken on a variety of social issues: Paid family leave, environmental protection, and equitable vaccine access, to name just a few that have come up in the last month. And while it would make sense that highlighting these issues, which the Sussexes have said they take very personally, is just part of how they want to use their famous names for good, they may also be helping Meghan gear up for an even bigger role: Running for U.S. Congress.
According to Richard Johnson, a professor at Queen Mary University who spoke to Express UK, there’s even a particular congressional seat Meghan might be keeping in mind: The Senate seat that may soon be vacated by Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat who, at 88 years old, is rumored to be considering retirement, and will likely not seek reelection. “If she wanted to follow this track of high profile celebrities leapfrogging to the top office, that senate seat would be a very attractive one for her,” Johnson said of Markle. “There is some record of celebrity politicians doing pretty well in the U.S.,” he added, referencing both Ronald Reagan (a former actor turned California governor turned U.S. President) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (another actor-turned-California governor).
Plus, given Meghan’s existing funding and celebrity-level visibility, she would enter any political race having overcome two of the biggest hurdles most politicians face. Johnson continued:
“The thing [to] say is that it's extremely expensive to run for office in California. California is a state of nearly 40 million people. It's bigger than the whole population of Canada. On the other hand, she’s probably got a lot of resources behind her and people who could support her. So she actually wouldn’t be in that bad a position compared to other candidates. And also in California, one of the big challenges is the expense of getting your name out there, because of the various very expensive media markets. Well, she doesn’t have to worry about that because she’s so well known."
Though Johnson acknowledged that her lack of formal political experience would likely be a roadblock for some in the party who might worry Meghan hasn’t “paid her dues,” he added, “I do think just being who she is, she would start in a fairly good position just because of the name recognition and the kind of money she could get access to for a campaign.”
Plus, she has a clear grasp of issues that people really care about, and a long philanthropic history, giving her a great starting point for any political career to jump off from.
Let’s test it out: “Senator Duchess, you have the floor.” Yeah, it has a nice ring to it.