In October, the Duchess of Sussex wrote an open letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The letter was about supporting paid family leave, an important issue which needs to pass with bipartisan support, because it affects all families. Meghan was accused of “using her title” which is – in my opinion – an incredibly stupid criticism to make considering that’s her married name. In any case, Meghan is doing even more than just writing letters: she’s calling senators directly to lobby for paid family leave. From Politico:
Democrats are the ones behind the party-line social spending bill that could include paid leave. But none other than Meghan Markle is calling senators in both parties about the topic. Capito got an unexpected call from the duchess.
“I’m in my car. I’m driving. It says caller ID blocked. Honestly … I thought it was Sen. Manchin. His calls come in blocked. And she goes ‘Sen. Capito?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ She said, ‘This is Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex,’” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) told Politico. “I couldn’t figure out how she got my number,” the West Virginia Republican added. Capito wasn’t alone in the GOP: Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) also got a call from the erstwhile royal.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who’s pushed her party to include paid leave in its social spending bill, said Wednesday that she gave senators’ numbers to Markle. “I talked to each of the women senators and let them know that she’s going to reach out, because she only completed two of the calls,” Gillibrand said. “She’s going to call some others, so I let them know in advance.”
“She wants to be part of a working group to work on paid leave long term and she’s going to be. Whether this comes to fruition now or later, she’ll be part of a group of women that hopefully will work on paid leave together,” Sen. Kirsten Gilibrand told Politico.
The backdrop: The call from Markle comes as paid leave advocates are making a final push on including the proposal in the social spending plan. But Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) currently opposes its inclusion.
“The erstwhile royal”? No, she’s still royal, Politico. Anyway, I’m all for it. I love how pissed off the Republican senators are and I love that Sen. Gillibrand gave out her colleagues’ private numbers too. I mean, will Meghan’s support of paid family leave sway senators either way? No. But it’s part of the public pressure being exerted on certain senators to do the right thing. And I have no idea why Susan Collins thought it was “ironic” for Meghan to introduce herself using her title, aka her married name. Meghan is an American citizen who votes and is politically active! It’s not a curiosity for goodness sake. The Daily Mail is particularly salty about this story too.
She added : “much to my surprise, she called me on my private line and she introduced herself as the duchess of Sussex, which Is kind of ironic”
— Marianne LeVine (@marianne_levine) November 3, 2021
Photos courtesy of Archewell, YouTube, cover courtesy of Time.