Jacinda Ardern, despite not being in the race, has earned coveted endorsements from both Marianne Williamson and Pete Buttigieg.
Girlfriend, you are so on! There’s been a last minute entry into the already swarming field of 2020 democratic hopefuls, and it is, somewhat inexplicably, the Prime Minister of New Zealand. Sorry, Mike Gravel.
Jacinda Ardern might be the Democrats’ fastest-rising star after being name-checked in both rounds of debates. Last month, she was summoned by author and orb mother Marianne Williamson, who claimed that her first task as President of the United States would be to call the prime minister of New Zealand. “Her goal is to make New Zealand the best place in the world for a child to grow up,” Williamson said before issuing the challenge that launched a thousand memes: “I would tell her, ‘Girlfriend, you are so on!’”
Last night, Ardern was brought up in a less quotable manner by Pete Buttigieg. At 39, Buttigieg is the same age as Ardern—who was just 37 when she took office two years ago—and has drawn national attention due to running for president before he’s eligible for retirement benefits. “I don’t care how old you are. I care about your vision,” Buttigieg said, before praising his favorite Epic Yung Leader, who is thankfully neither Emmannuel Macron nor the former King of Ithaca. “I actually think it’s good that the prime minister of New Zealand has got a lot of attention at Democratic debates,” he said. “She’s masterful. She is younger than I would be when I take office.” This is untrue—Ardern is three days older than Buttigieg will be on January 20, 2020, even accounting for time difference—but still a very cool call-out for Arden to roll out of bed to!
Unfortunately, Ardern doesn’t meet the criteria to be president of the United States: she is not a US citizen, and speaks Arabic too well. Some have postulated that New Zealand isn’t even a real country. But if, by some dark psychic forces, Morrinsville’s most famous former fish ‘n’ chip shop worker did become president, we looked at what she might do during her own first days in the White House, or at least at the initiatives she’s introduced in New Zealand’s Parliament, which might help explain why the democrats are so obsessed with her.
‘Wellbeing’ for All
As prime minister of New Zealand, Ardern wrote the damn bill! Specifically, she has unveiled a “wellbeing” budget adding further benefits to the country’s already enviable and mostly free public healthcare system. This includes further spending on mental health, child poverty, and the welfare of New Zealand’s indigenous population. The initiative is a world-first attempt at completely overhauling the way economic progress is measured—striving to ensure citizens remain alive and happy, rather than tracking their monetary contribution to a post-capitalist hellscape.
Quick thoughts, Islamic prayers, and sweeping gun control legislation
Ardern became the subject of global attention over her dramatic response to Christchurch’s mosque shooting in March. Ardern immediately stepped in to condemn the attack as an act of terrorism, named Islamophobia as its chief cause, opened her first official address with the Muslim prayer of “As salaam alaikum,” oversaw a nationwide two minutes of silence, and then pushed strict gun control measures through Parliament in just 28 days.
Not destroying the planet
There’s a reason Peter Theil chose New Zealand to live out his survivalist dreams—it might be the last country remaining on earth. Ardern has introduced a nationwide ban on single-use plastic bags and made a searing speech about climate change at the United Nations earlier this year, condemning states that are literally causing smaller countries to drown, all between changing the diapers of the three-month-old daughter she’d given birth to soon after taking office. Baby Neve was arguably better-behaved than some heads of state.
No kids in cages
Speaking of kids, under Ardern’s leadership, 22 weeks paid parental leave has been introduced—and the country is raising this to 26 weeks by 2020. Needless to say she’s probably not a fan of putting babies in cages.
Make America Rave Again
Obama might have been president of playlists, and Bernie’s album of spoken word bangers was the underrated drop of 1987, but Jacinda would be the first American president with ‘DJ’ on her resumé. Following her stint in a small-town chip shop, Ardern hosted a radio show, on which she spun Portishead tracks and announced on-air that she lost her bra at her first live gig.