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Governor Gavin Newsom is ready to run in 2024

Jan 31, 2023

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After easily winning his reelection last November, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said he wasn’t going to run for president in 2024, even if President Biden decides not to run. In fact, during a phone call on Election Day, Newsom said he assured Biden he was fully on board if the president planned to run again.

But as Straight Arrow News contributor Ruben Navarrette argues, don’t discount Newsom’s 2024 intentions just yet. If Biden decides not to run, a lot of things can and will change.

In politics, timing is everything. One minute it looks like your political career is over. The next minute your future in politics is brighter than ever. Consider in the winter of 2023, the rapidly shifting fortunes of California Governor Gavin Newsom. As future presidential candidates go, his stock has risen, then fallen. And now it’s rising again. Having mastered the art of getting elected statewide in the most populous state in the country, and even having beaten back a recall attempt, there is nothing left for Newsom to win out west. 

He wants to go to Washington, and he won’t be satisfied with a seat in the Senate. No, he wants to go to the show. He wants to run for president in 2024, which explains why the governor spent so much of the last two years campaigning around the country appearing on national talk shows and raising money from coast to coast. Newsom is building a massive war chest, which he hopes will prove his viability if the Democratic Party finds itself looking for a replacement for President Joe Biden–one not named Kamala Harris. By early 2022, it was clear to political observers that Biden who had – while running for president – implied that he would only serve one term, that Biden had lost the spin off his fastball. He stumbled over details, meandered in remarks, struggled to remember things. 

At one point, he even appeared to shake the hand of someone who wasn’t there. The 79-year-old was acting his age. Even liberal media outlets like the New York Times implied that Biden was too old for the job, and the Democrats should vet a possible replacement.

Then just 54-years old, Newsom seemed like a natural, with his movie star good looks, disarming charisma and sharp political skills. In addition, California has 55 electoral votes, or 20% of the 270 electoral votes that someone needs to win to be elected president. That’s one heck of a head start.

In politics timing is everything. One minute it looks like your political career is over. The next minute your future in politics is brighter than ever. Consider in the winter of 2023, the rapidly shifting fortunes of California Governor Gavin Newsom. As future presidential candidates go, his stock has risen, then fallen. And now it’s rising again. Having mastered the art of getting elected statewide in the most populous state in the country, and even having beaten back a recall attempt, there is nothing left for Newsom to win out west. 

He wants to go to Washington, and he won’t be satisfied with a seat in the Senate. No, he wants to go to the show. He wants to run for president in 2024, which explains why the governor spent so much of the last two years campaigning around the country appearing on national talk shows and raising money from coast to coast. Newsom is building a massive war chest, which he hopes will prove his viability if the Democratic Party finds itself looking for a replacement for President Joe Biden, one not named Kamala Harris. By early 2022, it was clear to political observers that Biden who had – while running for president – implied that he would only serve one term, that Biden had lost the spin off his fastball. He stumbled over details. meandered in remarks, struggled to remember things. 

At one point, he even appeared to shake the hand of someone who wasn’t there. The 79-year old was acting his age. Even liberal media outlets like the New York Times implied that Biden was too old for the job, and the Democrats should vet a possible replacement. Then just 54-years old, Newsom seemed like a natural, with his movie star good looks, disarming charisma and sharp political skills. In addition, California has 55 electoral votes, or 20% of the 270 electoral votes that someone needs to win to be elected president. That’s one heck of a head start.

Newsom’s White House stock rose; in fact, it went through the roof. But then a few months later, in fall of 2022, Biden – having chalked up impressive legislative wins over the summer – scored a massive victory in the midterm elections. 

Biden held the line against a Republican-led red wave that dried up and never materialized. He declared his intention to run for re-election after all. And first lady Joe Biden signaled that if this happened, she’d be on board. Biden was riding high, so much so that when he turned 80 In November, the milestone was hardly noted. And since Newsom had previously insisted that he had no desire or intention to run for president if Biden was running again, the governor’s stock dropped. Then came January, and the story of the Biden documents. When the news broke that Biden had – after he left the Vice President’s office, kept in his possession – now stop me if this sounds familiar – classified documents, including some marked top secret, well, Republicans pounced. Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special prosecutor to investigate and figure out what the President knew – and when he knew it. The media asked if the Biden documents scandal made it less likely that former President Donald Trump would be prosecuted for doing something similar. 

That’s the wrong question, folks. If you’re looking at the next presidential election, there’s only one question to ask: will the fact that Biden is now politically-wounded make it more likely that Newsom, who is now 55, will jump into the race for the 2024 Democratic nomination even if Biden hasn’t jumped out yet? I think the answer is yes. Newsom’s stock is back up and it’s continuing to climb. 

In the wake of the documents scandal, Democrats could be looking for alternatives to Biden, or Biden himself might even be looking for a graceful off ramp and eager to use the story for that purpose. Either way, don’t sleep on the California governor. It’s a good bet that Gavin Newsom is dusting off his go with Gavin yard signs and that the 2024 presidential election is well underway.

 

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