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    California Gov. Newsom takes an odd trip to China, Israel
    • October 25, 2023

    For a guy who isn’t running for president, Gov. Gavin Newsom certainly is spending a lot of time doing things that presidential candidates do.

    In 2022, he posted billboards in seven conservative states criticizing their anti-abortion policies.

    In April, he toured several Southern states as part of his “Campaign for Democracy” to promote progressive values across the country.

    This week he headed to China for a week-long trip to tour, where he is visiting electric-car companies and is promoting cultural exchanges, economic-development projects and action against climate change. He also took a detour, stopping in war-torn Israel to meet with survivors of the Hamas attacks.

    He even joked about the whole “is he running or isn’t he?” vibe. “I wish I was president of the United States,” he said in response to reporters’ questions about seeking a ceasefire in Gaza.

    It’s not entirely unusual for a governor to take international publicity trips. Other California governors have done so.

    Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York, home to the nation’s largest Jewish population, recently visited Israel. And Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is attempting to boost his flagging campaign for president, partnered with a nonprofit to airlift 270 U.S. citizens from Israel to Florida. At least that effort yielded tangible humanitarian goals.

    Not only conservatives ripped Newsom’s China trip because he hasn’t made mention of Chinese human-rights violations.

    That’s a valid concern, but the bigger question: Why is he gallivanting around the globe as the state struggles with myriad high-profile crises?

    For instance, Newsom had vowed to build tiny homes for the homeless across the state. Seven months later, the state hasn’t even awarded any contracts.

    That failure is emblematic of California’s approach to homelessness and other major problems — lots of promises and spending, but little follow through.

    We have no real problem with Newsom flying to international hotspots, but if he’s serious about running for president, or at least serious about being ready if President Joe Biden bows out of the 2024 race, he ought to get matters in order at home.

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    ​ Orange County Register