Europe

Meghan Markle’s celebrity ‘stardust’ quality would help her climb political ‘greasy pole’

Meghan Markle shouldn't get involved in US politics says expert

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Richard Johnson, a US politics professor at Queen Mary University, said that the Duchess’s celebrity status may mean she is able to “bypass the normal routes” into politics and give her a good chance of being elected. Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “I think Americans take a very keen interest in British royalty, and there is a lot of attention from the US public whenever there are stories relating to the British Royal Family.

“I think that particularly in a state like California, that has shown itself to elect stars, it could help to have that kind of ‘stardust’ one might say – I don’t think that would harm her.

He also said that, historically, famous figures have done well in US politics.

“There is some record of celebrity politicians doing pretty well in the US.

“Obviously [Meghan and Harry] are based in California and California has produced Ronald Reagan, who was an actor, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was an actor.

“And there have also been successful celebrities elected to the Senate. Al Franken was a Saturday night live comedian elected to the Senate for Minnesota.

“There have been astronauts elected – Buzz Aldren I believe from Ohio.

“So there is, in the US, a pretty storied history of celebrity politicians who bypass the normal routes of going up the greasy pole through the lower levels of state government and congress and just leapfrog into the higher echelons.”

He added that Meghan’s visibility and resources would also help her in a potential election campaign, saying: “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.”

“There will be people in California who think she’s not paid her dues for the party and gone through the lower level offices and so on.

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“But 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.”

This comes after the Duchess of Sussex wrote a letter to Congress last month, lobbying them for paid parental leave.

The move has triggered speculation that she may have ambitions to run for political office in the future.

In her overtly political letter, she said: “No family should have to choose between earning a living and having the freedom to take care of their child (or a loved one, or themselves, as we would see with a comprehensive paid leave plan).

“In taking care of your child, you take care of your community, and you take care of your country—because when paid leave is a right, we’re creating a foundation that helps address mental health outcomes, health care costs, and economic strength at the starting line.

“Instead, as it stands now, we spend a fortune as a country paying into symptoms rather than causes.

“Paid leave should be a national right, rather than a patchwork option limited to those whose employers have policies in place, or those who live in one of the few states where a leave program exists.

“If we’re going to create a new era of family first policies, let’s make sure that includes a strong paid leave program for every American that’s guaranteed, accessible, and encouraged without stigma or penalty.”

She drew criticism for engaging in politics, despite the non-partisan status of the British royal family.

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