Gavin Newsom Is Going to Find Out CA Is Not USA

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Even though the November election is just four months away, Gov. Gavin Newsom will be spending more and more time out of the state in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa, Michigan, Texas, and other primary and caucus states. He’s getting increasing attention as the top Democratic hopeful—even if President Joe Biden runs again, as seems unlikely.

Challenging a sitting president, if it’s necessary, is not unprecedented. Ronald Reagan nearly displaced President Ford in 1976. And Sen. Teddy Kennedy (D-Mass.) almost did so against President Carter in 1980.

California has numerous problems that ought to be debated in an election. But because California is so heavily Democratic, and Newsom just spread around a $97.5 billion surplus, Republican challenger Brian Dahle will get little traction even if Newsom spent the entire rest of the year campaigning for the Oval Office. Voters won’t hear much about how to deal with the state’s continuing $1 trillion in unfunded liabilities, rising crime, a schools system that produced a literacy rate 50th in the nation, and the country’s highest poverty level.

It’s true there have been some rumblings of revolution. San Francisco in February recalled three leftist School Board members—and earlier this month gave the boot to radical District Attorney Chesa Boudin. But Newsom has been careful not to appear too radical. He never joined the “defund the police” chorus.

And mounting a localized campaign against a couple of people is different from organizing a statewide campaign. Indeed, less than a year ago such a campaign was waged against Newsom, ending with the recall attempt roundly rejected by voters.

But these days the rest of America does not look so kindly on California politicians. Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan were different because they were the top Cold Warriors of the times before they became president. Indeed, Nixon was so anti-communist it allowed his “Nixon Goes to China” moment, which has become a cliché for someone whose skills in a certain area let him negotiate compromise. I remember the time well and always have thought Nixon in 1972 went too far accommodating the mass murderer Mao. But that’s another story.

By John Seiler

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