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CA Gov. Gavin Newsom Florida ad. (Photo: gov.ca.gov)

‘Playing the Fool’: Newsom’s Presidential Campaign Strategy

Gavin the Fool. Gavin the Jester.

By Kevin Nelson, July 9, 2022 7:57 am

Gavin the Fool. Gavin the Jester.

These are two of the gambits being used by California Governor Gavin Newsom in his early bid to sweep through re-election in November and then turn his sights on becoming the Democrat Party’s presidential nominee in 2024.

Forget Ol’ Joe. Forget bumbling Kamala. The slick, rich white hipster from San Francisco is on the make.

Here are two more ploys he is using as a way to stand out from the crowd in the still very, very early 2024 Democrat presidential sweepstakes:

Tweak the Right. Thumb your nose at Trump supporters.

In so doing he wins kudos from the party’s activist left wing base that despises Trump and all things MAGA, and whose support he will need if he hopes to succeed in his long-range ambitions.

His recent advertising spot comparing California with Florida has garnered him the attention he was seeking, but his Gavin the Jester strategy was actually unveiled for all to see last month when he joined Truth Social.

It was a publicity stunt, essentially. Other prominent Democrat politicians and the mainstream media have largely ignored the Donald Trump-owned social media site, so as to not give publicity to the former president and the probable 2024 Republican presidential candidate.

Gavin the Jester had a different idea, though. His stated intention was to call out “Republican lies,” although this was clearly disingenuous. His real aim was to put himself in the national spotlight and cast himself as a Democrat willing to venture into enemy territory to take on Trump and his supporters.

He followed this same strategy with his Florida ad spot, placing himself squarely on the home turf of Governor Ron DeSantis. DeSantis is a hero of the right and may even turn out to be a presidential or vice-presidential candidate himself in 2024.

The spot generated a storm of ridicule from FloridiansRepublicans, and many others on the right. To them he seemed a fool—Gavin the Fool. But that was precisely the point. Newsom and his handlers know they’re not going to get those votes anyway; they’re playing to a different audience.

In the ad the middle-aged career politician espouses left wing values that resonate with Democrats. That he did so in a manner that ticked off right-wingers only further endeared him to his base. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and all that.

Newsom appears to be climbing in 2024 presidential preference polls for Democrats, and that’s all he’s looking for here. He wants to be part of the conversation, a player to be potentially reckoned with.

It’s obviously far too early for him to play his hand and declare for the presidency. There is this little matter of winning re-election as governor that must be dealt with first.

And it would look very impolitic indeed to be seen as the rude, overly ambitious upstart who pushed frail Joe out of the Oval Office. Another puzzle that must be solved is how to deal politically with the woman of color—and a fellow Californian to boot!—who’s veep. Kamala may have her own higher office ambitions.

We won’t know for a long time whether Newsom’s tweak-the-right political gambit will pay off ultimately. But all indications are that when it comes to playing the fool, that’s a job Gavin Newsom is uniquely well suited for.

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7 thoughts on “‘Playing the Fool’: Newsom’s Presidential Campaign Strategy

  1. These Dem politicians —- and Gov Gruesome is of course one of its old jaded warhorses —- never do anything different or original when they play these foolish games. Just the same tired thing, over and over and over again. Isn’t it amazing? If they would only quit cheating in our elections and rigging everything connected to our elections we could have beaten the pants off of them long ago, thereby avoiding untold foolishness and nonsense. Then their repellent games would be a distant memory.

  2. If the GOP doesn’t stand up and stop all the cheating and rule changing in elections, this country will not survive much longer. I am starting to think most of the republicans that have been elected in the last 20 years fooled all the people voting for them, and now is the time for their true colors to come out, a bunch of RINO’s, just look at that sloth Mitch McConnell what an embarrassment.

  3. Sure ruin CA and ruin the whole country why do ya? Crime,homeless, and land grabs. Your a keeper. He is forcing the built out clean, quite, and safer suburbs to build high rises for the very low in come and provide all sorts of free services to them. My little city will have to knock down thriving shopping center and a medical center. We will have to do away with our parking restrictions too. I wish this guy would disappear but not to Washington where he will do to all the states what he has done to us.

  4. Paul Ryan comes to mind Jack. Republicans had a mandate when trump was elected, shameful how deep the swamp is.

  5. If Governor Climate Change runs for President he will have to debate. That is something he is not good at. In 2018 he avoided the first two gubernatorial debates with the Republican and Democratic candidates. He participated in the third and final debate where John Cox and Travis Allen mopped the floor with him. I hope GCC runs so the nation can see how incompetent he is and what a POS he is.

  6. Let Gruesome run. The whole nation will learn what California already knows about him. California politicians and their “progressive'” politics don’t play too well on the National stage.

  7. Agree that it’s a “strategic” decision to get more votes from the Dem base but also a screw you to his own Attorney General Rob Bonta who sets these ridiculous virtue signaling “bans.”
    When was the last time California officials didn’t travel to Montana because of the state ban?
    Answer: Never

    Thus Newsom’s trip with his state security detail – probably a six person team of California Highway Patrol officers and staff for he and his wife broke the ban and showed his own hypocrisy consistent with breaking the Covid restrictions by dining out at the French Laundry, maskless at NFL.games, shutting down public schools but sending his kids to open private schools, and allowing his own kids to play out of state on kids travel teams while banning school sports in California.

    What the governor does not realize is that the national press is not as friendly as California’s. He’ll find out.

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