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  #281  
Old 11-04-2021, 09:49 PM
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A dinner with all the women Senators?

Well, that'll be 24 hardworking women who've earned their way there....and one semi-rich, semi-celeb, semi-American lobbyist.

Perhaps she'll explain to California Sen. Feinstein why she wasn't interested in even notifying her of her work in DC.

Seeing her interact with people like Joni Ernst and Marsha Blackburn should be interesting.
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  #282  
Old 11-04-2021, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
"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," Gillibrand said of the duchess.
Good God. What are her qualifications to do this? Being female? Having children? Having an opinion about the issue? That's about 100 million Americans, maybe more. There are too many unqualified people setting economic and social policy as it is, but at least most of them are elected. The arrogance here is astounding.
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  #283  
Old 11-04-2021, 10:23 PM
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Several points to make:

1) Totally inappropriate of Sen Gillibrand to be giving out private phone #s of other Senators. I'd be giving her an earful if I was any of those on the receiving end of the unsolicited calls.

2) Like the rest of us peons across America, Meghan should be reaching out to her own Senators from California and probably should stick to the official lines of communication through their office staff and websites. If those Senators wish to provide Meghan with a private number, that's their own prerogative.

3) If Pelosi is putting the 4 weeks paid leave back in any pending legislation it's not because of any of Meghan's efforts. We just had off-year elections this Tuesday so this move by Pelosi is pandering to suburbanite voters because of the election results that gave the Republicans a clean sweep of the Virginia governor, lieutenant governor, & attorney general jobs as well as a majority in their House of Delegates; and almost lost the NJ governorship to the Republican candidate.

4) I don't have a problem with Gillibrand inviting Meghan to join a working group to push this issue. There are far more effective ways to use her platform and reach - like having her make some commercials encouraging people to contact their own Senators & Reps - but, it's really no different, IMO, than Kim Kardashian and Kanye West working with Trump to reform the criminal justice laws a few years ago.

5) Meghan really needs to stop using "Hi, I'm Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex" when greeting people. Pretentious much?

Feel free to PM me if you want more in-depth analysis of US politics since I know it's mostly off-topic here and only tangentially appropriate to discuss due to Meghan's lobbying efforts.
  #284  
Old 11-04-2021, 10:28 PM
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If she is going to be part of any sort of official working group or events re Congress she should drop her title for it (keep it for other things if she wants to). Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex getting special treatment IRT Lawmakers is 100% what the US democratic process was set up to prevent. She should *want* to do that as a politically engaged American who is using her voice, etc. Everyone knows who Meghan Markle is anyway.

I respect a lot of what Senator Gillibrand has achieved (she first came to my attention on The Daily Show as newly appointed Senator over decade ago and I've followed her since then) but she should not have given out private phone numbers, especially in this era of increased attacks on public officials. Meghan and Harry have championed privacy even as public officials as a big issue for themselves and they would certainly sue if anyone in opposition to them did similarly.
  #285  
Old 11-04-2021, 11:19 PM
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Like other posters, I am shocked that Senator Gillibrand gave out her colleagues' private telephone numbers without their previous consent.

I give Meghan the benefit of a doubt that she didn't know that she was calling a private number but I am surprised that she would use her British title since she is not a working royal, like William or Charles. If she had identified herself as Meghan Markle, they would have known who she is.

It's smart to get Meghan involved because she will bring publicity to the issue but her involvement will not make any difference in the end. Everyone supports the concept but the issue is as always, cost.
  #286  
Old 11-04-2021, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UglyAmerican View Post
Good God. What are her qualifications to do this? Being female? Having children? Having an opinion about the issue? That's about 100 million Americans, maybe more. There are too many unqualified people setting economic and social policy as it is, but at least most of them are elected. The arrogance here is astounding.
No different to HRH The Duchess of Cambridge and her work in children's mental health, education and well-being. Other than having three children, she has zero qualifications in the area too.

No different to HRH The Duke of Cambridge and his work in climate change and conservation. He has zero qualification in the science of climate change

Meghan is not setting social and economic policy - she is lobbying for changes - just like her brother- and sister-in-law. Big difference! However, using a British peerage title for US policy lobbying is where I think she is wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by UglyAmerican View Post
Senator Collins had it right. She answers to the people of Maine, not to anyone who lives in California, and not to anyone with a foreign title. If the name "Meghan Markle" was good enough for Lilibet's birth certificate, it's good enough to use when lobbying an American politician. I don't know how effective her title ever was at persuading Brits to do what she wanted, but believing that it will be perceived positively by American politicians is astoundingly clueless.
100000% agree with you here. It's not the foreign title part, it's using the foreign title from a US citizen for US policy. Meghan and her advisors missed the mark here
  #287  
Old 11-04-2021, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by CrownPrincessJava View Post
No different to HRH The Duchess of Cambridge and her work in children's mental health, education and well-being. Other than having three children, she has zero qualifications in the area too.

No different to HRH The Duke of Cambridge and his work in climate change and conservation. He has zero qualification in the science of climate change

Meghan is not setting social and economic policy - she is lobbying for changes - just like her brother- and sister-in-law. Big difference! However, using a British peerage title for US policy lobbying is where I think she is wrong
My understanding is that it's not considered acceptable for either of them to lobby politicians directly, or to directly edit bills that later end up as laws. If that's what they're doing, then I don't think they should be doing it. If all they're doing is talking to charities or raising awareness, I agree with you that they have no real qualifications, and I've done plenty of eye-rolling about some of the things they've said, but I don't think that's the same thing.
  #288  
Old 11-04-2021, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by UglyAmerican View Post
My understanding is that it's not considered acceptable for either of them to lobby politicians directly, or to directly edit bills that later end up as laws. If that's what they're doing, then I don't think they should be doing it. If all they're doing is talking to charities or raising awareness, I agree with you that they have no real qualifications, and I've done plenty of eye-rolling about some of the things they've said, but I don't think that's the same thing.
Prince Charles, Prince William, The Queen and other royal family members are well known to lobby UK ministers on a vast range of issues. Although they are heavily criticised for doing so, they can lobby like every other British citizen. Technically they are allowed to vote - but choose not to for obvious reasons. The only people that can edit laws are parliamentarians.

And like you - I have done plenty of eye-rolling when I hear royals trying to be leading experts. But if they are lobbying with the experts and leave the experts to help the changes needed and do what they do best, I don't see a problem. My biggest gripe is Meghan using a foreign title in the course of her lobbying.
  #289  
Old 11-05-2021, 12:19 AM
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Meghan is lobbying in the US who's constitution explicitly forbids the use of aristocratic titles. She wants to proclaim herself "Meghan Markle" have at it. As long as she gets permission from the women involved to call their private numbers.

Prince Charles explicitly got in a huge amount of trouble for the "Spider Tapes" which was him writing letters to MPs and Ministers about things that bothered him - which is what Meghan is doing now. There were a lot of articles questioning his suitability to lead a constitutional monarchy.

For that matter if UK based Duchesses started lobbying either Houses publicly for various things a HOL reform bill would probably become popular.

Kate waited a decade before the big launch of Early Years and got UCL involved many years before, this is the 10th-ish Sussex press release since "we're speechless" and contains just as much depth. Kate for example also doesn't outright say "the government needs to do more for mental health, the last round of cuts really affected XYZ".
  #290  
Old 11-05-2021, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Heavs View Post
Meghan is lobbying in the US who's constitution explicitly forbids the use of aristocratic titles. She wants to proclaim herself "Meghan Markle" have at it. As long as she gets permission from the women involved to call their private numbers.
If I'm not mistaken, this only applies to people that serve in public office. Queen Latifah could very well lobby for something as well as could "Prince" Jackson. Those titles on those two people actually mean as much here in the US as The Duchess of Sussex does if we want to get technical.
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  #291  
Old 11-05-2021, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by CrownPrincessJava View Post
(...)

No different to HRH The Duke of Cambridge and his work in climate change and conservation. He has zero qualification in the science of climate change

(...)
Didn't William study geography? I don't know about St Andrew, but a friend of mine whose major was geography had climate change module at uni.
  #292  
Old 11-05-2021, 01:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrownPrincessJava View Post
Prince Charles, Prince William, The Queen and other royal family members are well known to lobby UK ministers on a vast range of issues. Although they are heavily criticised for doing so, they can lobby like every other British citizen. Technically they are allowed to vote - but choose not to for obvious reasons. The only people that can edit laws are parliamentarians.

And like you - I have done plenty of eye-rolling when I hear royals trying to be leading experts. But if they are lobbying with the experts and leave the experts to help the changes needed and do what they do best, I don't see a problem. My biggest gripe is Meghan using a foreign title in the course of her lobbying.
All of that is true. My only issue with her calling senators is the use of private numbers without their permission. Even then, my main issue with Meghan's role in that is the fit we all know she would throw if anyone did that to her. Even the use of the title - though shockingly tone-deaf - isn't a real problem in a practical sense, because there's zero danger of any American politician being impressed that she's a Duchess. Every single politician she tries that with will think, "You do know we fought a war over this, right?" Most will be too polite to say it out loud. It's really more amusing than offensive.

So I don't really take issue with the lobbying in a general sense. Every idiot is free to call their senator and say all manner of things, and the senator is of course free to hang up on them. But I don't think people who have no idea what they're talking about should be appointed to official "working groups" tasked with hammering out the details and changing some grand ideal into a practical policy that would both work effectively and somehow pay for itself. Having an opinion, voicing it loudly, and having enough money and social capital to ensure that some people feign polite attention isn't the same thing as knowing what you're doing.

Charles and William giving speech after speech about why pollution is bad doesn't make them experts on what should should be done differently, what levels of emissions are sustainable, what types of taxes should be used to incentivize cleaner energy sources, etc. Likewise, Meghan's belief that paid family leave is good doesn't qualify her to do anything useful towards crafting a workable program for it. Maybe Charles has, over the course of his decades-long work on environmental issues, developed enough expertise that he's qualified to weigh in as an expert rather than as a patron. If not, he definitely shouldn't be advising legislators in any official capacity. Not (only) because he's a working royal, but because he's not qualified to do it.

Meghan's expertise on this issue appears to consist of having recently had a child and being grateful that she could afford not to work for several months after giving birth. That's rather like saying Charles is an expert on how to save this planet because he lives on this planet and would prefer it not explode while he's on it. At best, she'll be a distraction and an annoyance to her more competent colleagues. At worst, enough unqualified people in the group will doom the entire project.
  #293  
Old 11-05-2021, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by yukari View Post
Didn't William study geography? I don't know about St Andrew, but a friend of mine whose major was geography had climate change module at uni.
He has a degree with 2.1 honours in geography. His thesis was on coral reefs. It's as vague as saying someone has a degree in physics or chemistry. Geography is vast!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UglyAmerican View Post
All of that is true. My only issue with her calling senators is the use of private numbers without their permission. Even then, my main issue with Meghan's role in that is the fit we all know she would throw if anyone did that to her. Even the use of the title - though shockingly tone-deaf - isn't a real problem in a practical sense, because there's zero danger of any American politician being impressed that she's a Duchess. Every single politician she tries that with will think, "You do know we fought a war over this, right?" Most will be too polite to say it out loud. It's really more amusing than offensive.

So I don't really take issue with the lobbying in a general sense. Every idiot is free to call their senator and say all manner of things, and the senator is of course free to hang up on them. But I don't think people who have no idea what they're talking about should be appointed to official "working groups" tasked with hammering out the details and changing some grand ideal into a practical policy that would both work effectively and somehow pay for itself. Having an opinion, voicing it loudly, and having enough money and social capital to ensure that some people feign polite attention isn't the same thing as knowing what you're doing.

Charles and William giving speech after speech about why pollution is bad doesn't make them experts on what should should be done differently, what levels of emissions are sustainable, what types of taxes should be used to incentivize cleaner energy sources, etc. Likewise, Meghan's belief that paid family leave is good doesn't qualify her to do anything useful towards crafting a workable program for it. Maybe Charles has, over the course of his decades-long work on environmental issues, developed enough expertise that he's qualified to weigh in as an expert rather than as a patron. If not, he definitely shouldn't be advising legislators in any official capacity. Not (only) because he's a working royal, but because he's not qualified to do it.

Meghan's expertise on this issue appears to consist of having recently had a child and being grateful that she could afford not to work for several months after giving birth. That's rather like saying Charles is an expert on how to save this planet because he lives on this planet and would prefer it not explode while he's on it. At best, she'll be a distraction and an annoyance to her more competent colleagues. At worst, enough unqualified people in the group will doom the entire project.
Thank you for this post. I agree with lots of what you wrote here. I think lobbying is an incredibly powerful way to get important issues in the spotlight, if done well. I just hope Meghan did it without the need of using "The Duchess of Sussex"
  #294  
Old 11-05-2021, 08:44 AM
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For me, the worst part of this is Senator Gillibrand giving out private (or even personal) phone number of her colleagues to Meghan without consent and agreement. Gillibrand could have just give out their offices' contact numbers or email, which are in the public domain.

Meghan's recent "lobbying" for paid leave only cements the view from the Sussex's critics that she is trying to get into political arena. I understand there is a difference between an activist/lobbyist/campaigner and politician who actually decides on the policies and laws. As other posters have pointed out, it's absurd and inappropriate that Meghan is using her the British peerage title in US politics. Not only it may be perceived as (without sounding too exaggerating or pessimistic) "foreign interference", but it goes against the idea that Meghan is a "strong independent women". She could have introduced herself as Meghan Markle. Instead she is happy to use "Duchess of Sussex", which she only got because of her marriage to Harry.
  #295  
Old 11-05-2021, 09:05 AM
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Yes, so true and Harry's own name doesn't even get a mention in the Bench Video....LOL
She mentions herself as The Duchess of Sussex, The illustrator named as Christian Robinson and their son Archie by name. Harry is just 'my husband'. Nameless. I found that very interesting.
  #296  
Old 11-05-2021, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by AC21091968 View Post
She could have introduced herself as Meghan Markle. Instead she is happy to use "Duchess of Sussex", which she only got because of her marriage to Harry.
But is that not her "brand": An actress/influencer/cable tv star, a Kardashian so to say, who catched a real English Prince and made it into the finest circles?

A fairytale...
  #297  
Old 11-05-2021, 10:21 AM
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Now, I'm a huge fan of both Senator Gillibrand and HRH The Duchess of Sussex, but I believe that the former giving the latter the private phone calls of her colleagues without their knowledge let along their consent will ultimately prove counterproductive to their push for family leave. The United States political atmosphere is already heavily charged, with both sides unwilling to compromise on anything. A senator who is disinclined to support paid family leave who be more so disinclined if their private number was giving to a left-leaning celebrity whose perceived claim to fame is marrying a royal and supports a policy the senator's base does not.
  #298  
Old 11-05-2021, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by UglyAmerican View Post
Senator Collins had it right. She answers to the people of Maine, not to anyone who lives in California, and not to anyone with a foreign title. If the name "Meghan Markle" was good enough for Lilibet's birth certificate, it's good enough to use when lobbying an American politician. I don't know how effective her title ever was at persuading Brits to do what she wanted, but believing that it will be perceived positively by American politicians is astoundingly clueless.

If lawmakers can't trust their colleagues not to give out their private numbers to random self-important lobbyists, they're going to stop sharing those numbers with their colleagues from the other party. And then Meghan can publicly hand-wring over their unwillingness to work productively together. I suppose that's more Gillibrand's fault than Meghan's, but really. "I'm going to give you so-and-so's private number without their permission because I really want you to pester them into voting for this bill I support" is such an obvious bad look that Meghan shouldn't have touched it.

If a friend of Meghan's gave out Meghan's private number that way, I can't imagine Meghan would be very happy about it. But of course, she's much too special to be held to the same standards she applies to everyone else. Blocking her own number from showing up so that her targets wouldn't have her private number is just one more example of that.

Good points Ugly American. I am very disappointed that Senator Gillibrand chose to give out her colleagues' private phone numbers without their consent. I'm also disappointed that Meghan believed that it was an appropriate manner to access the Senators. She should have communicated via their offices like any other private citizen.



I also agree that she should not be using her British title when lobbying for support.
  #299  
Old 11-05-2021, 10:44 AM
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Family, News and Events 6: August 2021-

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Originally Posted by TLLK View Post
Good points Ugly American. I am very disappointed that Senator Gillibrand chose to give out her colleagues' private phone numbers without their consent. I'm also disappointed that Meghan believed that it was an appropriate manner to access the Senators. She should have communicated via their offices like any other private citizen.



I also agree that she should not be using her British title when lobbying for support.


Totally agree with all of this.

It seems to me absolutely inappropriate and out of line for Senator Gillibrand to just give out private numbers without permission. And for Meghan to then use them. I didn’t get the impression the Senators were happy.

Susan Collins got it right- her job is to listen to what the people of Maine think- not Meghan.

And using a foreign title to lobby for US policy…..no.

One of the senators said it was “ironic” that she used her title while lobbying. I would have to agree. Don’t think that was a compliment either.

If the goal was publicity- box checked.

But- personally- I think some other people got alienated in the process.
  #300  
Old 11-05-2021, 11:02 AM
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The other aspect I found interesting as she lobbied these two Senators on their own "private" phone numbers is that Meghan blocked her own phone number.
She thought nothing of cold calling them, but SHE is off limits for them, had they been so inclined to have her phone number.
She really does come off as quite full of herself and yes, entitled.
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