Gavin Newsom pushes national Democrats to turn up the heat in culture-war battles: report

Gavin Newsom pushes national Democrats to turn up the heat in culture-war battles: report

In November 2021, California Gov. Gavin Newsom showed his resilience when he survived, by double digits, a recall election and trounced far-right Republican challenger Larry Elder — and on Tuesday, June 7, Newsom enjoyed a decisive victory when he won California’s 2022 Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Now, he will be going up against Republican nominee Brian Dahle in the general election.

Newsom, a former San Francisco mayor, has been arguing that fellow Democrats aren’t being aggressive enough when it comes to fighting Republicans on culture war issues. The California governor’s efforts to make members of his party more forceful in the United States’ culture war battles is the focus of an article written by Politico reporters Christopher Cadelago and David Siders and published on June 23.

“Real Time” host Bill Maher has been bullish on Newsom’s prospects as a future presidential candidate, and Cadelago and Siders discuss the possibility of Newsom someday running for president in their report.

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“Is the governor positioning himself for a White House run in 2024?” the reporters write. “Newsom has stressed that he isn’t challenging President Joe Biden — either on his stewardship of their party or as a candidate in two years. He’s reminded people that Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris separately trekked across the country to stump for him in his recall election.”

Nonetheless, Cadelago and Siders add, Newsom’s argument that Democrats need to be more forceful on culture war issues is being “widely interpreted as a relatively young executive using the specter of a future presidential bid to shine a bright spotlight on himself.”

“Newsom has long centered Republican leaders as foils, using his State of the State speech in March to argue that America is plagued by agents of a ‘national anger machine’ that’s fueling division and weaponizing grievance,” Cadelago and Siders observe. “Often focusing on Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas, Republican governors who revel in making California an example of progressivism run amuck, Newsom argues, the GOP is counting on complacency to erode voting rights, scapegoat minorities, conjure conspiracies and undermine democracy.”

The journalists add, “But after Politico revealed the leaked Supreme Court draft overturning Roe v. Wade, Newsom unloaded on Democrats, asking outside a Planned Parenthood office last month, ‘Where the hell is my party? Where’s the Democratic Party?.… Why aren’t we calling this out? This is a concerted, coordinated effort. And, yes, they’re winning.”

Biden, now 79, has indicated that he plans to seek reelection in 2024 if his health is good. Possibly, Newsom is setting himself up for a presidential run in 2024 if Biden doesn’t run — or perhaps a presidential run in 2028.

Attorney John Morgan, a Democratic bundler and Biden ally based in Orlando, Florida, told Politico, “They don’t know if Biden is going to run or not. They are thinking, ‘I don’t know if I am going to be at the swim meet or not, but I am going to put my bathing suit on anyway.’”

Morgan said of the California governor, “He looks like a million dollars. And he looks at the Democratic bench, and he doesn’t see anyone sitting there. So, he says, ‘I am going to sit there.’”

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