Newsom Tempers Gubernatorial Bid Expectations

Written by Elaine Santore. Posted in News, Politics


Published on July 02, 2008 with 8 Comments

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom
File Photo by Luke Thomas

By Elaine Santore

July 2, 2008

Mayor Gavin Newsom ended speculation about his possible 2010 gubernatorial bid Tuesday when he officially opened an exploratory committee, but later said he would drop out of the race if another candidate articulated a better vision for California.

“If we can’t produce better results, we can’t make a case that we can deliver, then I’m not going to be in this race,” Newsom told Fog City Journal during an interview yesterday evening at a launch party for the Women’s Independent Cinema Film and Documentary Club. “But whoever else runs, if they have a better vision, and they can articulate in a way that I’m convinced that they can implement it, then I won’t run.”

He said his desire to share his achievements as mayor with citizens in other parts of the state inspired him to consider running for governor.

“When I share that with other people, they say, ‘Well, what about us?’ And I say, ‘Well, what about the Central Valley, what about Eureka, what about other parts of the state?’ So I want to share that with the state,” Newsom said. “That’s what we want to explore, whether or not that message of change that’s real, not just rhetorical, matters to other people.”

“The reason I’m doing it is because I’m frustrated about the lack of leadership, the lack of bold ideas, the lack of resolve to solve the healthcare crisis, to deal with education more forcefully, to address the environment in a much more impactful way, not so much in a theoretical way,” Newsom added.

Opening an exploratory committee allows Newsom to begin raising campaign funds and to commission polls.

Newsom will be entering a crowded race. Attorney General and former California Governor Jerry Brown is also contemplating a run, along with former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi, and Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.

Elaine Santore

Elaine Santore was born in San Francisco during the awesome '80s. She spent a considerable amount of her childhood around City employees, all of whom taught her the value of pretending to be productive. After graduating from Saint Ignatius College Preparatory, she transferred schools three times but eventually received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln in Psychology, with a double minor in Political Science and Textiles, Clothing and Design. This unique area of expertise makes her qualified to critique the sartorial missteps and psychological problems of local politicians. Elaine's work has also appeared in 7x7, California Home + Design, Filipinas, the Daily Nebraskan, SF Bay Guardian, and

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  1. Newsom’s positive accomplishments as mayor seem too meager to make him qualified for higher office (although his 311 number seems actually to be a helpful tool).

    He may be as good as or better than the rest of potential candidates mentioned– but what a largely disappointing bunch.

    Does he deserve the disapprobation Patrick Monk gives him? I’d rather not try to imagine so.

    In Newsom’s defense, one might ask, who has not in youth been thoughtless or selfish? And whose temptations to be so would be less had they also been blessed with charm, good looks, and access to money and power?

    Newsom could be an alright guy if he cut the strings to the masters he now serves.

    As a politician and man of the people, he is a shallow poseur. It is painful to hear him and see him in that unnatural role.

    I think his statement regarding a possible run shows good sense.

    I would be impressed with him if he would escape the limelight to devote himself to a decent life in true service to others. Maybe he could help elect someone as yet unnoticed who articulates the best vision for California.

    I haven’t heard anyone like that since Peter Camejo ran for governor.

  2. Mayor Newsom, on what achievements, besides same sex marriage, are you going to run? For example, what have you done to reduce the carbon footprint of San Francisco? And what have you done to stem, let alone reverse, the flow of San Franciscans with children from the city?

  3. Per their nature, the people at the SF Bay Guardian will be climbing over themselves to endorse him if he wins the primary.

  4. Greasy grifter; petulant, preening, duplicitous, debauched, slick, shallow, corrupted, coniving, immoral and amoral little pissant. Predilection for underage bed and party companions, if a friend’s spouse is not available. Born with a silver spoon in his mouth which anti-gravitated to his nose. That the democratic party should even seriously consider him running is further evidence of how low they have sunk under the anemic and gutless leadership of Madame Pelosi and Di-Fi.
    Patrick Monk.RN. Noe Valley

  5. I don’t think Moonbeam’s too old. 70 is the new 40.

  6. I wonder who will be on his exploratory committee. Whoever makes the cut will, I am almost certain, advise him to run. That’s the name pf the game. I read the SacBee article this a.m., including readers’ comments. They were almost universally negative. I prefer Jerry Brown. He’s too old to be governor, but then again, too old and bald is better than a candidate who depletes America’s oil reserves on one head of hair alone.

  7. What exactly were his ‘achievements’? Besides officiating the ceremonies for gay couples, which probably has pretty limited appeal to most voters at the state level, I’m not seeing the big guns he’s bringing.

    Will he be bringing big budget cuts to the state, too? The state already has that. C’mon, Mr. Mayor, tell us somethin’ new.

    In your favor, this is a state that elected Arnold Schwarzenegger to its top post, so pretty much anything goes. You got a good shot at it.

  8. I love that photo. Can one infer from the Mayor’s expression that he’s not a big fan of the photographer?

    If you believe the Sacramento Bee, the field may also be crowded with Steve Westly, Jack O’Connell, Bill Lockyer, and Meg Whitman.

    Also from the Bee: “His timing – opening an account on July 1 — means he will not have to reveal how much money he has raised for more than six months, until early 2009.”