Governor Gavin Newsom (D) will run campaign ads on July 4th — in Florida, not in his home state of California, where he is up for re-election.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Newsom is preparing for a possible 2024 presidential run:
The ads are the latest move in what his advisers say is Newsom’s effort to stand up nationally for Democratic values. He’s been posting “truths” about red states on Donald Trump’s new social media platform, ripping Supreme Court justices for their decisions on abortion, guns and the environment, chiding rival governors in Texas and Florida, doing national media interviews and even calling out his fellow Democrats for being too passive.
“I’m resolved to wake all of us up to what is going on in this country,” Newsom said recently. To “what is happening in real time that is not getting the attention it deserves in red states across America. (Conservatives are) aggressively and successfully rolling back rights that all of us have come to take for granted.”
But there is another, unspoken reason that Newsom is bumping up his national profile as a fighter: He is warming up in the bullpen for the 2024 presidential campaign — just in case Joe Biden decides not to seek re-election. (Biden insists that he’s running. And Newsom insists he wants Vice President Kamala Harris to be Biden’s successor.)
Less than a year ago, Newsom survived a recall election in his own state that represented a backlash among voters to his aggressive coronavirus policies. Florida distinguished itself by keeping its economy largely open during the pandemic.
Newsom faces a vast array of unresolved problems at home: large-scale homelessness; a crime wave; an extreme drought; a lack of electricity generation capacity; frequent wildfires; and a dismal state education system, among other chronic issues.
Yet he is positioning himself as a leader of the opposition to Republicans on cultural issues such as abortion and gun control, repeating a strategy that took him to prominence in 2004 when, as mayor, he legalized gay marriage in San Francisco.
He has also targeted Texas and Florida, both of which have enticed businesses and residents to relocate from California, where taxes, regulations, and the cost of living have become burdensome. Rather than change California’s policies, Newsom has mocked rival states.
Earlier this month, Newsom joined Donald Trump’s fledgling “Truth Social” network with the specific mission of trolling conservatives. His new ad strategy on the Fourth of July in Florida continues that strategy.
Newsom’s opponent in November is State Sen. Brian Dahle (R-Bieber). He is widely expected to cruise to re-election, owing to the state’s heavy Democratic advantage in voter registration. No Republican has won statewide office in over a decade.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.