Meghan Markle’s Senate bid? How the Duchess of Sussex eyed Feinstein’s seat after her death

Oct 02, 2023 12:54 AM IST

Death of Sen. Feinstein sparks speculation that Meghan Markle might seek to replace her, though chances are slim.

The death of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Friday at the age of 90 sparked immediate speculation that Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, might seek to replace her, according to the Daily Mail.

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)(AP)
Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)(AP)

The outlet reported that sources said that Markle’s name was among those being discussed as potential candidates for the Senate seat, which will be filled by California Gov. Gavin Newsom until Feinstein’s term ends in January 2025.

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However, the chances of Markle becoming a senator are slim, despite her connections to influential Democrats like Oprah Winfrey and the Kennedy family, the outlet said.

“Meghan is definitely a long shot, but in the craziness that is US politics these days it’s not an impossibility,” a major Democratic donor who is close to Newsom told the outlet.

“Crazier things have happened.”

Newsom, a two-term Democrat who may have presidential ambitions, had previously interviewed Markle for a Senator’s spot in October 2020, when he had to appoint a successor for then-Sen.

Kamala Harris after she became Joe Biden’s running mate against Donald Trump.

The Daily Mail said that Markle had been networking with senior Democrats and had the US presidency as her ultimate goal.

However, Newsom did not choose Markle and picked another candidate instead. Newsom now faces a dilemma in choosing Feinstein’s replacement, as he had reportedly promised her that he would appoint a black woman to her seat. But the most qualified candidates have already announced their intention to run for the seat next fall, the outlet said.

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Daily Mail reported Newsom would risk being accused of favoritism if he picked one of those candidates to serve for 13 months before the election.

“So he needs to find a woman of color who can do the job for 13 months and will agree to not stand against any of the seasoned politicians who have already thrown their hats into the ring,” the outlet reported.

“There are not that many women who fit the bill,” it added.

“Which is why Meghan’s name is being bandied about.”

The outlet also reported that Markle had befriended Gloria Steinem, a legendary feminist activist who had been “introducing Meghan to pivotal people within the party,” according to a friend of Steinem’s. “Meghan is interested in politics more than anything else,” the friend said. “That’s where she believes her power is but she has had to focus on making money.”

However, not all Democrats were impressed by Markle’s political aspirations.

“I don’t think you can take Meghan seriously,” one insider cited.

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