When California’s Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom stated that he only spent, “one day a week tops” at the state capital; there might have been some groans heard in the state.
Newsom, the telegenic former Mayor of San Francisco, was once considered a rising star for the Democratic Party. The nation probably knows him best for his vocal support for marriage equality that culminated in him legalizing homosexual marriages in the city of San Francisco before its legality being overturned by the Supreme Court of California.
But after a failed run for Governor (he dropped out as former Gov. Jerry Brown had a bigger campaign war chest), Newsom set his sights on the Lt. Gov. position which he won easily.
Yet, life as Jerry Brown’s #2 hasn’t been as fulfilling as Newsom probably thought when he was running for the position. Their relationship, at best, seems to be best described as icy though the two seem to share common goals. One could say that Newsom just simply appears to be Brown-lite, as Brown had tremendous grassroots appeal in the 1980s and early 1990s as well as some Hollywood notoriety (Governor Moonbeam, anyone?).
So as the ambitious and often grandeur Newsom vented his frustrations with his largely-ceremonial position, he took an unusual and unique step to get his voice out.
He got a show on Current TV, the fledging progressive network that is best known as either Al Gore’s network or the network that fired Keith Olbermann.
As a first time viewer of his program, Newsom’s show seemed rather different than the usual pundit shows. Instead of talking about politics, Newsom focuses on technology, government & the business side of California. The show focuses on the Golden State and seems to almost be a unique way of telling people of the pleasures that the state has to offer in those fields.
Newsom does appear to have his finger on the pulse of technology and how it can be implemented into government and politics. The show almost seems to represent an outlet for Newsom to showcase his ideas to the world as opposed to what appears to be the mundane daily life of the Lieutenant Governor.
So the show does seem to be a way of getting Newsom out into the public again after his high-profile mayoralty. Newsom is no longer the new, rising star of the Democratic Party but in a party bereft of “young guns” so to speak; is the wonkish Newsom preparing for the future?
It certainly seems so. Today Politico even acknowledged Newsom’s potential rising star as they named him one of the 50 politicos to watch. Newsom even acknowledges that “he’d like to be ready” if the 74-year old Brown decides to retire in 2014 as opposed to running for re-election.
But what if Brown, perhaps the ultimate “comeback kid” in national politics today, decides to run again? Can you really see Newsom as someone who will spend another four years sitting on the sidelines? He might not have another choice though unless veteran Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer retires from the US Senate in 2016.
To his credit and it can’t go without saying, Newsom has evolved as a simple overly-ambitious young mayor that may have even been toxic to be near to someone who helped tackle universal health care in the city of San Francisco. He even seemed to conquer a few personal demons as well after finding himself facing backlash after admitting an affair with the wife of a close staffer.
While reprehensible, Newsom’s past is firmly in the rearview mirror as he is now someone that is forward-thinking technological enthusiast. He has successfully thrown himself into the national spotlight with ambition & maybe a little bit of grandeur.
Still with a TV show and a position that he seems to be disillusioned with, the question still remains; what is Gavin Newsom planning?
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