Newsom’s first campaign for leadership | Thomas Elias | national news

As we head into September, it looks like the presidential campaign is starting in earnest.

Oops! Looks like this statement is two years ahead of schedule. Where is it?

Gov. Gavin Newsom, who won 56% of the vote in the June primaries, still needs further ratification at the polls, where he won the election in 2018 and easily fended off a recall almost exactly a year ago.

But his Republican opponent this fall won just under 18% of the primary vote, so Newsom doesn’t exactly have a fight on his hands. That’s why he was able to leave the state for a week during the July 4 holiday and take other family vacations to places like Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and parts of Central America.

It’s also why he was able to spend well over $100,000 in campaign funds going to his Governor’s Fund on TV ads and newspaper ads in Florida and Texas, essentially pocketing the GOP governors of those States, Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott, for things like banning certain books from public schools, making it difficult for elementary school teachers to discuss gender roles and do what they can to make abortions too illegal as possible.

“Freedom,” Newsom said, his hair slicked back as usual and wearing a Western-style open-neck shirt as he faced the TV camera in his spots, “it’s under attack in your state. . Republican leaders are banning books, making it harder to vote, restricting speech in classrooms, even criminalizing women and doctors. I urge you all… to join the fight. Or join us in California, where we still believe in freedom – freedom of speech, freedom to choose, freedom from hate, and freedom to love.

It was Newsom using his campaign war chest, which exceeded $23 million by midsummer, without needing to spend much at home, in a campaign to become the de facto leader of the national Democratic Party.

Of course, he drew derision from Republicans, including DeSantis, who correctly took Newsom’s announcement as an attack on him. The governor of Florida, who has targeted Walt Disney Co., California, whose Disney World resort outside Orlando is Florida’s largest employer with more than 62,000 workers, for additional taxes since the company objected to its restrictions on talking to schoolchildren about gay people.

DeSantis fired back at Newsom, lambasting “California’s crushing COVID lockdowns that have lasted for years” and calling California “the most over-regulated, authoritarian and overtaxed state in the Union.”

Of course, the COVID lockdowns he excoriated saved at least 40,000 lives in California in the first two years of the pandemic, compared to what the death toll would have been here if Newsom had used a ” keep everything open” like the one in Florida.

The question is whether saving companies and employees a lot of inconvenience would have been worth all those lost lives.

Newsom’s announcement was actually a continuation of his efforts last spring to inflame National Democrats, whom he described as lethargic after the early release of a proposed U.S. Supreme Court ruling to end federal abortion rights.

Newsom pushed for a state constitutional amendment guaranteeing abortion rights in California, on the ballot this fall as Proposition 1, and lambasted his own party almost as strongly as he criticized Republicans for having endorsed the three Donald Trump High Court appointees behind the decision.

Given the low approval ratings in the polls for President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, he could be all his party has if it wants to avoid a second term from Trump or a Trumpist figure like DeSantis in the White House. He has a shot at dominating the Democratic camp after this year’s midterm elections.

Suing DeSantis has let him promote himself while denying he’s running for president. It’s clear that one of his arguments in any presidential race would be that Republicans are “pro-government born mandated, not pro-life.” He notes that they consistently oppose funding for prenatal care, early education, and the Affordable Care Act — better known as “Obamacare.”

“They’re pro-childbirth, and then you’re alone,” he said, adding, “I can’t take it anymore. Why don’t we stand up stronger, shouting this? Where’s the counter- offensive?

Newsom’s own counteroffensive and his 2024 campaign may have started with his summer ads.

About Michael S. Montanez

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