Thursday, October 18, 2018

Gavin Newsom's "tough" SF political opposition

What's interesting about Gavin Newsom's campaign for governor is its lack of focus. What or who, for example, is the "Courage for a Change" slogan addressing? Does Governor Brown lack courage? For that matter, does President Trump? No, it's Trump's moral and intellectual shortcomings that are most alarming, though of course he was a chickenhawk during the Vietnam war. 

From the Joe Garofoli story on Newsom in last week's Chronicle:

He acknowledged that there were times as mayor when he didn’t reach out enough to his political enemies on his left as much as he should have. But those political enemies were valuable in another respect — they were tough. “I don’t think it gets more difficult than some of these folks that have been around San Francisco politics,” Newsom said on The Chronicle’s “It’s All Political” podcast. “So I feel more than prepared — and, frankly, wildly enthusiastic — about the breath of fresh air that are some of these enlightened leaders in Sacramento.”

Like to see some names of "enlightened leaders" in Sacramento, but especially those of his "tough" political opponents when he was Mayor of San Francisco.

Who is Newsom referring to? Surely not uber-prog Chris Daly, who was politically aggressive and could be personally nasty, but his political appeal was always to the flakey left in San Francisco, which is why neither Daly nor any other "progressive" city politician, including Ross Mirkarimi, ran against Newsom when he ran for reelection in 2007 (see also The intellectual failure of the city's left).

In short, Mayor Newsom was actually fortunate in the political opposition he faced when he was mayor. And he's fortunate now to be running for governor in a very blue state in The Year of Trump.

The "courage" slogan is apparently a reference to Mayor Newsom's poorly-timed gay marriage initiative in February, 2004, a presidential election year. Advocating gay marriage in San Francisco was actually a safe political move, even in 2004. The statewide marijuana initiative also polled well before Newsom got behind it.

Even his early determination to do something about homelessness in the city before he ran for mayor in 2003---the most important issue in the campaign---was a safe bet then, since city voters were clearly upset about the growing squalor on city streets and in city parks.

See also The prog case against Newsom.

More on Newsom tomorrow.

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