No, Meghan Markle Isn’t Running for Senate

Dianne Feinstein will (hopefully) retire, but it's ludicrous to expect the ex-royal to throw her hat in the ring.

No, Meghan Markle Isn’t Running for Senate
Photo:Mike Coppola (Getty Images)

Following the conclusion of her and Prince Harry’s Netflix docuseries about themselves, Meghan Markle, the former Duchess of Sussex, is once again in the media zeitgeist. And that might be why early Tuesday morning, someone registered numerous political URLs related to her.

Via GoDaddy’s domain purchasing service, someone bought and (as well as and, according to ICANN’s domain lookup service. We reached out to the registrant of all four domains, but who knows if they’ll actually respond. But in any case, I do not think the person who bought these domains is Markle or someone connected to her.

Instead, the buyer seems to be picking up on the fact that Markle is overexposed. A part of that overexposure is Markle’s continued focus on how she hopes to make the world a better place: A trailer for her and Harry’s second Netflix series focuses on activists and leaders who (ostensibly) have sought to do so. Admirable! What’s less admirable is that someone is probably squatting on these URLS in case they become useful and lucrative later on.

These domains (which are hedging every bet) are a part of a long line of unhinged responses to Markle’s poise and blandness—which I mean in the kindest of ways. She does not seem interested in being rude or mean at all, and has unremarkable liberal politics: She thinks that people should have access to vaccines, that we shouldn’t burn the planet, and also that Black people shouldn’t be murdered by cops.

Perhaps because she has expressed a political position on some topics—yes unfortunately, “let’s keep the planet habitable” is a political position—people have taken that and run with it, straight to the press, dropping seemingly entirely made up tidbits about Markle’s future plans for years. In November 2021, one British expert insisted Markle was eyeing a congressional run and could win because of her Q score. In March 2021, an anonymous source told the Daily Mail that Markle was preparing for a White House run. A “friend” told Vanity Fair in 2020 that Markle never wanted to give up her American passport so she could eventually run for office—though a “well-placed source” told Vanity Fair at the same time that Markle would not be a candidate anytime soon. “While there’s no denying she is interested and engaged in politics as a topic, she harbors no ambition to enter a career in politics herself,” they told the magazine.

I have to agree with that one “well-placed source” denying Markle’s political aspirations. Let’s consider the options. Markle—who, with Harry, inked deals with Netflix worth $100 to $150 million and with Spotify for a rumored $25 million—would run in California, where she and Harry live in a roughly $30 million dollar mansion in Montecito. California Sen. Alex Padilla (D) handily won his first election in November (he was appointed to fill Vice President Kamala Harris’ seat before that) and is young for a senator; he’s not going anywhere without a scandal. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, on the other hand, will either die in office or retire after her term is up in 2024. While her seat is almost certainly going to be up in two years (Feinstein filed paperwork to keep her fundraising effort alive but the woman will be 91 years old at the next election), I’d caution you to get a fucking grip. There are many, many people who are way higher on the list of potential successful candidates: 20-year congressional veteran Rep. Barbara Lee; Harris if things shake out weirdly in the Biden administration; Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass; or Gov. Gavin Newsom. And those are just the Democrats.

Markle is obviously interested in politics; she won the NAACP President’s Award for public service and lobbied senators on paid family leave. I don’t think that’s indication that she wants their job.

Look, I’ll eat my fascinator—hat pin and all—if Markle does run for office. But I cannot imagine a woman who has received death threats for years, who endured such stressful public litigation that it likely contributed to a miscarriage, and who finally found some small slice of peace in southern California wants to be a member of the United States Senate. That dusty old place? For a mere $174,000 a year?? Please.

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