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    Gov. Newsom’s run for the presidency
    • July 9, 2024

    Gov. Gavin Newsom’s presidential ambitions couldn’t be more obvious. Faced with a multi-year structural budget deficit facing the state and a litany of pressing public policy issues, the governor has been busy inserting himself into presidential matters while asserting he isn’t.

    “I think the governor has been focused on wanting another job, so he’s not doing the job that he currently has,” one state Democratic lawmaker reportedly told Politico last week.

    Hence, Californians have seen the governor play shell games with the state budget that will come back to bite taxpayers.

    As Sen. Roger Niello, R-Fair Oaks, told Fox News of the budget, “It relies on budget gimmicks, draws down our savings, and saddles future generations with debt.”

    And as Sen. Brian Jones of San Diego described it, “They shifted, swept and shuffled money around, stealing it from disabled kids and taking money from a host of necessary services to fund unneeded social experiments and pet projects.”

    That’s by design, as it gives Newsom time to punt the hard questions for now.

    Last week, we also saw Newsom suddenly propose and then suddenly pull back a sweeping ballot measure to address crime.

    Reported Politico, “the ordeal has left many legislative Democrats feeling jaded that they did the governor’s bidding with nothing to show for it.”

    Politico continued, “For months, legislators have grown increasingly disillusioned by Newsom’s efforts to grow his national name ID before a widely anticipated presidential run in 2028.”

    Of course, Newsom no doubt sees an opening even earlier than 2028.

    Newsom made sure he was in Atlanta, Georgia for the disastrous presidential debate. He’s also been busy campaigning for President Biden across the East Coast, including Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.

    With increasing numbers of Democratic leaders voicing concerns about President Biden running for re-election or even explicitly suggesting he step aside, Newsom no doubt is trying to maintain visibility in case the opportunity to seek the Democratic nomination presents itself.

    Newsom knows as well as anyone that, if Biden decided against running again, Vice President Kamala Harris would be a remarkably poor replacement. Already resoundingly rejected in her own run for the presidency, her time as vice president has been marked by historically low approval ratings.

    Newsom is probably also aware of his own short-comings and the bad optics of being seen as outflanking the first Black and first female vice president. So he has to present himself as merely a passionate advocate of the Democratic Party standing by the elderly President Biden.

    Only time will tell if Newsom’s gamble pays off for him. But what Californians should know for certain is that Newsom’s ambitions have been at their expense. At the end of the day, it is Californians who have suffered the deleterious consequences of his mediocre and myopic leadership.

    ​ Orange County Register 

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