Megan Rapinoe will be my secretary of State, 2020 Dem jokes
Redding, Calif., native Megan Rapinoe’s performance on the international stage during and after the Women’s World Cup in France has drawn the attention of Democratic presidential hopeful Jay Inslee, who quipped over the weekend that his “first act” as president would be asking the soccer star to serve as secretary of State.
“I should think about getting a secretary of State who has asked us to embrace more unity across the world and more love rather than hate,” the Democratic candidate and Washington governor said Saturday. “So my first act will be to ask Megan Rapinoe to be my secretary of State.”
Inslee’s comment drew a mix of laughter and applause from the audience at Netroots Nation, a Philadelphia conference for progressive political activists.
“I haven’t asked her yet, so this could be a surprise to her,” Inslee continued.
The remark, delivered as a joke, was part of a longer answer about how a potential Inslee administration would differentiate itself from President Donald Trump’s approach to foreign policy.
After pausing for audience reaction, Inslee finished his answer, using Rapinoe’s post-World Cup stardom to contrast his vision with Trump’s.
“I actually believe this because I think what she (Rapinoe) has said that has inspired us so much is such an antithesis of the president’s foreign policies,” Inslee said, advocating for better relationships with international allies.
Rapinoe later responded indirectly when she was asked if she’d consider a career in politics on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday.
“I’m not sure I’m qualified for office,” she told Chuck Todd.
“There’s no qualifications for office these days,” Todd joked.
“Yeah, that’s true. Up to 44, I guess there was,” Rapinoe said, alluding to Trump’s being the country’s 45th president.
Inslee isn’t the only Democratic presidential candidate to suggest Rapinoe has a place in politics. When Rep. Eric Swalwell, who represents California’s 15th Congressional District, withdrew from the presidential race in a press conference last week, he jokingly floated a Rapinoe endorsement.
“If Megan Rapinoe gets in the race, I’m probably going to endorse her. I think she turns 35 next July,” Swalwell said, referencing the minimum age to run for president.
A July poll this month found that Rapinoe has a lead over Trump in a potential general election matchup, 42% to 41%, according to left-leaning firm Public Policy Polling.
“Rapinoe may be an unlikely Presidential candidate but her numbers still speak to a broader truth about Trump’s standing,” a writeup on the poll stated.
Rapinoe has drawn criticism from Trump and his supporters for saying she wouldn’t visit the White House. The soccer star has also called the president’s message exclusionary and protested during the national anthem.
More: USWNT soccer’s Megan Rapinoe narrowly tops Donald Trump in presidential poll
More: From Megan Rapinoe’s yearbook: How she handled the national anthem and teamwork as a teen
Matt Brannon covers Redding-area sports for the Record Searchlight. Follow him on Twitter @MattBrannon_RS. Support local coverage and keep up with the North State sports scene for as little as $1 a month. Subscribe today.