In Unusual Campaign Move, Caitlyn Jenner Heads Down Under for 'Celebrity Big Brother'

Sunday July 18, 2021
Originally published on July 17, 2021

Caitlyn Jenner
Caitlyn Jenner  (Source:Associated Press)

What does a candidate well behind in the polls do with less than ten weeks to the election? Do they increase television spend? Make more campaign appearances? Seek the help of other pols?

In the case of Caitlyn Jenner, who is running to replace California governor Gavin Newsom in a recall election now scheduled for September 14, it is to head Down Under to appear on a reality show, the Daily Mail reports. And then claim that her appearance on "Celebrity Big Brother" in Australia will not interfere with her bid for California governor.  

'My campaign team is in full operation as am I. I am in this race to win for California, because it is worth fighting for,' the 71-year-old reality star wrote.

But veteran GOP strategist and Lincoln Project co-founder Mike Madrid characterized Jenner's candidacy to the Los Angeles Times on Friday as " 'more Gary Coleman than Arnold Schwarzenegger,' saying the campaign appeared to lack any obvious strategy or rationale."

Jenner said that she had made the Aussie commitment prior to her campaign. Her fee has yet to be reported. "While Channel Seven, which broadcasts Australia's Big Brother franchise hasn't commented on the casting, her salary is believed to be at least $500,000 ASD ($372,500 USD), as this was the fee offered to another high-profile American celebrity, The Advertiser reported," adds the DM.

Jenner was last seen campaigning last Tuesday, where she was seen chatting with voters at a Starbucks in Malibu.

Sources close to Caitlyn told TMZ that "her trip Down Under to participate in 'Big Brother VIP' will in no way stop her current campaign. Critics are ripping her decision to shoot the series, claiming it shows she's not focused."

"With the special election to recall Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom scheduled for September 14, ballots are expected to be mailed to California voters next month,"reports CNN.

The election date came earlier than expected, and in a state where Democrats outrank Republicans nearly two to one, the recall looks as if it will fail. "Newsom's approval ratings have been relatively stable throughout the spring and summer once the state accelerated its vaccination campaign after a rocky start, but some Democratic operatives have worried that the governor's political fortunes could be affected by a resurgence in cases — as some parts of the state, like Los Angeles County, are seeing now," CNN adds.

TMZ was also told she made the commitment to do "BB" before deciding to run for governor ... so she's simply honoring her contract.

"It was previously reported that she planned to embark on a statewide bus tour in the month before the election," adds the Daily Mail.

While, the LA Times reports, Jenner's early positions — such as lower taxes, criticism of COVID-19 closures, and strong support for former President Trump's border wall — seemed like they could strike a chord on the right. But it hasn't turned out this way. "And Jenner's identity as a transgender woman has cut both ways for her campaign. Many in the LGBTQ community write her off because of her conservative politics, while she recently faced transphobic attacks from the right."

Earlier this month at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a heckler repeatedly called Jenner "Bruce" and referred to her as a "sick freak" in a video later posted on Twitter. " Deadnaming,' or referring to someone by their pre-transition name, can be a form of harassment and can cause the target emotional distress," adds the LA Times.

" 'Why do we want a picture with a t—? We're supposed to be conservatives,' the heckler said, using a transphobic slur just before the end of the video. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) misgendered Jenner shortly after the CPAC incident, referring to the candidate as a 'man in a dress' in a tweet posted Monday."