Caitlyn Jenner launched the first campaign video for her bid to become California governor Tuesday (4 May), shedding her reality TV past to reveal, well, not much.
Jenner, a 71-year-old Republican and former Olympic athlete, launched her bid to unseat incumbent Democrat Gavin Newsom last month in an upcoming recall election.
In her first campaign ad, Jenner, who is worth a reported $100 million and whose daughter is a literal billionaire, attacked Newsom as an “elitist”.
“I came here with a dream 48 years ago to be the greatest athlete in the world,” CaitlynJenner said in a tweet announcing the campaign ad.
“Now I enter a different kind of race, arguably my most important one yet, because California is worth fighting for!”
The video itself begins with Jenner walking through her sprawling home, looking at her awards and medals.
“California was once the envy of the world. Yet career politicians, and their policies, have destroyed that dream,” she says, as a photograph of Newson dining out and House speaker Nancy Pelosi flouting lockdown rules to get her hair done flash up on the screen.
“It’s been locked away, closed, shuttered, left in the dark, burned down.
“The government is now involved in every part of our lives. They’ve taken our money, our jobs, and our freedom.”
For the advertisement, Jenner dropped her famous surname altogether as she boasted her campaign slogan: “Caitlyn for California”.
In terms of policies, Caitlyn Jenner’s campaign ad was barren as the acrid California landscape behind her.
She presented herself as a torch-bearer for those disgruntled and dented by the lockdown measures across the last year, but other than calling herself a “disruptor” and decrying lockdown measures, Jenner only vaguely alluded to what she stands for.
Instead, she sought to focus on her sporting past, showing photographs and archival footage of her competing in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, where she scored a gold medal in the decathlon.
“It’s time to reopen our schools, reopen our businesses, reopen the golden gates,” Jenner continued, stressing her anti-lockdown stance.
It’s a position that might well be moot soon, with California on track to fully reopen and boasting one of the lowest caseload numbers in the US, according to the figures from the California Department of Public Health.
Caitlyn Jenner urged voters to back her as “now is the time to achieve that summit, to be that shining city on a hill” – a phrase made famous by late Republican president Reagan, who botched the AIDS epidemic and famously laughed at LGBT+ people’s suffering.
While viewers may be left wondering where Jenner stands on certain issues, she made her views on trans youth competing in high school sports perfectly clear last week.
“This is a question of fairness,” she said in an interview with TMZ, “that’s why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls’ sports in school.
“It just isn’t fair and we have to protect girls’ sports.”