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    Two Visions of America by Don Jans

    Why was Newsom absent during Biden visit?

    By Emily Hoeven

    President Joe Biden’s three-day trip to Southern California, which concluded Friday, featured events with a who’s who of California Democrats — but not Gov. Gavin Newsom.

    Many of the state party’s biggest names — including U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; U.S. Reps. Karen Bass, Katie Porter and Ted Lieu; and state senator and congressional candidate Sydney Kamlager — turned out alongside the president as he made stops in Los Angeles and Orange County to tout federal infrastructure investments and plans to lower health care costs. Biden also headlined a fundraiser with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Los Angeles.

    Newsom’s absence was “strange,” given that “it certainly is the tradition that the governor of the state — particularly when the governor’s from the same party — will see the president” when he’s in town, Jessica Levinson, a Loyola Law School professor and California political commentator, told me Sunday.

    NBC News political director Chuck Todd described the situation to KCRA as a “head-scratcher.”

    • Newsom spokesperson Alex Stack told me Sunday: “The Governor unfortunately had scheduling conflicts. For example, he had an event in Sacramento on Friday morning for his book, in addition to state commitments.”
    • The White House was unable to provide a response in time for publication.

    Levinson said she was skeptical of the governor’s claim: “‘Scheduling conflict’ is the equivalent of ‘I’m dropping out of this political race that I’ll never win to spend more time with my family.’ Nobody really believes it.”

    Levinson ran through a few possibilities for why Newsom and Biden may have avoided meeting with each other:

    Asked whether potential political animosity between Biden and Newsom may have foreclosed a meeting between the two men, Stack said: “No.”

    Meanwhile, the governor’s office on Friday published a recap of events showing how “the Newsom administration was hard at work this week taking action for Californians across a variety of issues,” including breaking ground on a 10,000-mile broadband network to help expand high-speed internet access and cracking down on illegal cannabis operations.

    At the end of the day, Newsom‘s reticence on high-profile Los Angeles issues may simply reflect his expected easy path to victory in California’s Nov. 8 election over gubernatorial candidate Republican state Sen. Brian Dahle of Bieber, Levinson said.

    • Levinson: “Where’s the political upside for him to get involved? I mean, nobody’s going to vote for Brian Dahle because (Newsom) didn’t take a strong stand in the LA mayor’s race or because he didn’t say vigorously enough that he condemns what happened in Los Angeles” on the city council.



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    1 year ago

    Newsom has political aspirations beyond being governor and Biden is an albatross that he does not want hanging around his neck. Nobody likes to be seen with that dementia-riddled old man who walks with his claws outstretched like a mummy.

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