Before you dismiss this as tabloid trash, remember that Trump’s been leaking stuff to the Post and Page Six for ages. Before cable, before Twitter, this was his natural media habitat.
Even so, I’m guessing that there will, in fact, not be a dance between America’s most famous trans celebrity and an alpha-male tough-guy president who won thanks to a ton of votes from religious conservatives. There may be a handshake, though. Jenner will be at the inauguration and Trump has always been a pretty mainstream New Yorker in terms of his comfort with LGBT issues. He remains nominally against gay marriage, but he had little choice in taking that position since it was a litmus test in the primaries for social cons. And he’s in no hurry to prohibit it now that it’s legal. When “60 Minutes” asked him about it November, he pronounced the issue “done.” “These cases have gone to the Supreme Court. They’ve been settled. And I’m — I’m fine with that,” he told Lesley Stahl. There’s no aspect of liberal alarmism about Trump that’s funnier than the idea that he’ll be some sort of fire-breathing scourge of gays as president.
A dance with Jenner, though? C’mon:
“It’s a brilliant idea,” a member of the incoming administration told me.
Besides mollifying the LGBTQ community — wary of conservative Republicans in general, and of Trump in particular — dancing with Jenner could mend fences within the party.
“Time heals all wounds,” one GOPer pointed out…
“The image of Trump dancing with Caitlyn would send a strong message that he supports gay rights and trans rights,” the Republican said. “A picture is worth a thousand tweets.”
Jenner’s rep called it a “ridiculous story. There have been no discussions about who Caitlyn will or won’t dance with, or if she will dance at all. I can’t deal in hypotheticals and have no idea what any Trump aids hope happens. Of course, real question is if they danced, who would lead?” Er, Trump would lead because Caitlyn’s supposedly a woman now, no? Or does the rep not believe that? Jenner herself, meanwhile, said this just yesterday:
Republicans need help understanding LGBTQ 🏳️🌈 issues and I'm here to help!
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) January 18, 2017
What’s to be gained by a member of Trump’s own administration encouraging the idea of a dance at the inauguration? My guess is that the story happened one of two ways. One: Page Six came up with the idea of a Trump/Jenner dance on its own, found it hilarious, and started dialing up people connected to the administration until they found one willing to give them an enthusiastic quote about the idea. That became the peg for the story. Then they dialed up some random gay-friendly Republican to say some encouraging things and, voila, ready to publish. Two: Maybe Trump does plan to shake hands with Jenner as an olive branch to LGBT activists and the dance rumor is designed to make it less of a big deal on the right. If the alternative is a dance, a handshake seems like a nothingburger, practically an act of defiance of the left given what the Page Six story promised.
The answer is theory one, almost certainly. Something good will come out of this, though, when it inevitably provides the germ for the next episode of “South Park” involving President Garrison and VP Jenner.