Over the weekend, Caitlyn Jenner indicated she may run for the Senate in California. The revelation came during a radio interview, in which the Olympian, reality television star, and transgender activist spoke to New York City radio host John Catsimatidis. Jenner did not give many specifics, but she became the latest celebrity to express an interest in public office during the Trump era.
"I have considered it," Jenner said of a run for political office; "I like the political side of it." But, unsure of where her activism will take her, Jenner said she didn't know whether she could have a more significant impact from inside the government or outside of it. Jenner has fought for transgender rights since at least 2015, when she herself came out as a transgender woman.
The political side of it has always been very intriguing to me. Over the next six months or so, I gotta find out where I can do a better job. Can I do a better job from the outside? Kind of working the perimeter of the political scene, being open to talking to anybody? Or are you better from the inside, and we are in the process of determining that.
Based on the revelations of Jenner and other celebrities, it would seem that President Trump started a trend when he won the highest elected office in the land last year. The president was well-known outside the political realm before he launched his political campaign, thanks in large part to his reality TV show, The Apprentice.
News of Jenner's potential foray into politics came after musician Kid Rock hinted last week that he would run for the Senate in 2018. Meanwhile, someone has taken steps to get Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to run for president in 2020. It's unclear if any of these potential campaigns will materialize in a legitimate way, but the fact that the conversations have started suggests a change in the way celebrities interact with politics.
For her part, Jenner would likely put pressure on the traditional Republican ideology. Jenner has publicly identified herself as a Republican, and she attended Trump's inauguration earlier this year. However, she has also criticized the president for his lack of support for transgender rights. For instance, when Trump undid Obama-era protections for transgender students in public schools across the country, Jenner called the move "a disaster."
Despite her fame, it could be difficult for Jenner to win a Senate seat as a Republican from California. The state is currently represented in the Senate by two female Democrats. Sen. Kamala Harris is serving her first term, while Sen. Dianne Feinstein has served since 1992. If she did run and win, though, Jenner would become the first openly transgender senator.