Maybe Aunt Nancy Pelosi lisped in President Biden’s ear and asked him to prop up her nephew California Governor Gavin Newsom. Perhaps Democrats are scared because much of their preferred legislation is a photocopy of something on the books in California. Heck, even the L.A. Times was excited to know the state’s policy was central to the Biden administration’s planning and policy development. In any case, Press Secretary Jen Psaki has a message for California residents:
In addition to sharing a commitment to a range of issues with @GavinNewsom from addressing the climate crisis to getting the pandemic under control, @POTUS clearly opposes any effort to recall @GavinNewsom
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) February 9, 2021
Whelp, that’s a ringing endorsement. It might have been better if the president had made the statement himself. If “getting the pandemic under control” is code for implementing draconian lockdowns, killing small businesses, and causing record numbers of residents to leave the state never to return, Newsom nailed it. Of course, he also has cases per 100,000 higher than Florida, Texas, and New York despite locking people in their homes for nearly a year. Add annual fires, rolling blackouts, and the country’s highest taxes, and it is really something to emulate.
In reality, there were only a few up-and-comers in the Democrat Party among the governors pre-pandemic: Michelle Lujan Grisham in New Mexico, Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan, Andrew Cuomo in New York, and Newsom in California. Whitmer has become a meme and has a nursing-home death problem. She won’t release the information, but it is sure to come out sooner or later. She is up for reelection in 2022, and losing would knock her off the list for good.
They really tried to make Cuomo a thing despite his nursing-home policy problem. He was given an Emmy, a book deal, constant coverage of press conferences, and as much of a leg-up as possible. At one point, Democrat voters wanted him to replace Biden as the nominee. Then his attorney general accused him of underreporting deaths in nursing homes last spring following an investigation. That will come back to haunt him.
Lujan Grisham doesn’t seem crazy, and she is Hispanic, so she is still on the shortlist. But New Mexico is not a very big state. California is huge, and Newsom is a child of the political class. It would not be surprising for him to get a Cabinet-level position under a President Harris. Unless, of course, he is successfully recalled. Does anyone know what Gray Davis is doing these days? Didn’t think so.
The Recall Gavin 2020 campaign reports it only needs to obtain 100,000 more signatures by March 17th to get a recall on the ballot. This grassroots campaign has collected 1.4 million signatures in person during a pandemic. While Newsom loves mail-in ballots, you can’t mail in your form for a recall. Most talking heads say Newsom will survive the effort if it comes to a vote. However, challengers are emerging and Newsom’s approval rating has fallen to 46% from 64% in September.
Maybe an assist from the president’s press secretary in a tweet will save him. It got some local press. It still seems pretty weak, but maybe Biden will have a drive-in rally for Newsom if he has to campaign. He has been known to draw dozens.