Just weeks after Caitlyn Jenner announced she would challenge California Governor Gavin Newsom in a potential recall election this year, the transgender reality television star just some bad news: a longtime political analyst has declared her campaign DOA.
Columnist Neil J. Young has penned a lengthy essay in The Week this week, explaining, as he puts it: “Caitlyn Jenner has no chance.” He’s in the position to know: as a longtime political writer, Young has penned work for The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Times, HuffPost, Vox, and Politico.
In the essay, Young explains that Jenner already faces a clear uphill battle. Newsom already has a groundswell of support, and a number of other Republican candidates have also announced their own bids to run.
“Less clear is which voters a Jenner candidacy attracts, and what experience the reality television star has that makes her ready to run the state,” Young writes. “Possibly the most unqualified person to ever run for California governor,” read one response to Jenner’s tweet.”
“As the home to Hollywood,” he continues, “California has been comfortable electing movie stars since well before Trump came along, of course. Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger both served as the state’s governor. Other stars like Sonny Bono and Clint Eastwood also have held public office. But even given that history, Jenner’s bid may strike many as the ultimate example of celebrity entitlement, a vanity project that uses the political spotlight to stay relevant — or at least, in the news.”
Young also notes that the Republican party has long positioned itself as the chief enemy of the LGBTQ community, and that while a Republican transgender candidate might seem like a step to rehab that image, it will not change the views of voters.
“If Jenner’s candidacy is prompting eye rolls on the left,” Young observes, “it has, more tellingly, elicited vociferous denunciations on the right. ‘We cannot allow the Party of Trump to become the party of…Caitlyn Jenner,’ the prominent white nationalist Nicholas Fuentes tweeted. ‘I’m not a huge fan of the Republican Party getting behind Caitlyn Jenner,’ Charlie Kirk ranted on his popular radio show.”
“The right’s ugly reaction to Jenner gives the lie to whatever LGBTQ-friendly image the Republican Party has recently tried to put forward, however halfheartedly,” he continues. “Behind Trump’s occasional gay pride flag waving and his much-hyped appointments of a few gay men to his administration, the Trump administration waged a steady attack on LGBTQ rights, including stacking the courts with anti-gay judges. Transgender rights suffered the most. From almost the moment he took office, Trump began reversing the small number of Obama-era protections with a focus that was as chilling as it was cruel. At one point, the Trump administration even went so far as to propose a new rule that would have allowed tax-supported homeless shelters the right to deny transgender persons access to their facilities.“
Young then notes that the Republican onslaught on queer rights–particularly against transgender Americans–continues, with several states passing anti-transgender bills this month alone.
In other words, just as we have predicted, Ms. Jenner’s bid will almost assuredly fail, if she even makes it to the election itself. In addition to Republican antipathy toward her run, Jenner’s own family opposes her bid for governor. She will also likely face questions regarding a 2015 car accident, in which one woman was killed.