When it was revealed that the Duchess of Sussex had conducted a virtual ‘introductory’ meeting last October with the high-powered Democratic governor of California, Gavin Newsom, the rumour mill started churning. Was Meghan Markle making her long-anticipated move into politics? The hour-long video call came at an apt time, when the governor was searching for a possible replacement for Kamala Harris, the California senator who went on to be elected vice-president.
Now, more recently on Sunday 14 March – amidst the furore following Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview – it was claimed that the Duchess was considering running for the Democratic nomination for President in 2024 if President Biden chose not to seek a second term. The Mail on Sunday claimed that British sources with links to Washington believe that Meghan is networking with senior Democrats with a view to building a campaign and fundraising teams for a tilt at the US top job.
Far from being surprised or scathing, Californian Democrats were reportedly delighted by the reports in October. Mike Trujillo, a prominent Democratic strategist told the Times: ‘I think it’s fantastic[…] she’s doing everything that’s appropriate and allowed given her new position but she’s definitely putting her toe in the water. And once your toe is in the water your whole foot is in and next thing you know you are knee-deep and then you are fully in.’ He believes that their Archewell Foundation could prove to be a launchpad into politics, much like Schwarzenegger’s after-school foundation proved to be his own. A source close to the Sussexes has latterly said that the meeting with Newsom was ‘nothing political’ and ‘more social than anything’ conducted alongside his wife.
However, in Trujillo’s view, she is following a ‘well-worn path’ of the rich and famous pivoting their influence to politics, a path paved by these It Girls who did much the same.