It is no surprise to anyone who reads Calpeek, or anyone else for that matter, that Governor Gavin Newsom is toying with the idea of running for President. Newsom has been traveling the country, meeting with Washington, DC leaders, and running TV and print ads in states with a large number of electoral votes, all while denying he is running for President.
In addition to his obvious campaign activities, folks around the water cooler have noticed some very obvious acts that pretty much guarantee he is running for President, while also running for reelection in November.
Looking at what legislation Newsom is signing, and vetoing, appears to show that he is concerned about looking like a liberal to voters nationwide. He recently vetoed legislation that would have allowed three cities, on a trial basis, to operate safe drug injection sites. CalMatters suggested that Newsom “…who in recent months has been amplifying his national profile and taking shots at prominent Republican officials in what some see as groundwork for a future presidential run — is trying to avoid lending legitimacy to the largely GOP-driven narrative of California as a needle-infested, drug-overrun dystopia.”
Newsom received national attention in 2004, when, as Mayor of San Francisco, he issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples igniting the fight for marriage equality. 18 years later, Newsom seems to be moderating his positions and trying to keep his major donors on his side.
For example, in the race for L.A. Mayor, Newsom has not endorsed Congresswoman Karen Bass. He claims to not get involved in “Dem on Dem” races despite the fact that the other candidate is shopping mall developer Rick Caruso, who became a registered Democrat in January. Politico reported on 7 recent “Dem on Dem” races where the Governor had no problem endorsing one Democrat over another. Caruso has also been a major donor to Newsom’s campaigns. And then there’s the fact that Newsom’s campaign consultants also happen to be Caruo’s consultants.
As the deadline to sign bills approaches, it will be interesting to see how Newsom’s future plans impact his signing pen.