For a guy who isn’t running for president, Gov. Gavin Newsom certainly is spending a lot of time doing things that presidential candidates do.
In 2022, he posted billboards in seven conservative states criticizing their anti-abortion policies.
In April, he toured several Southern states as part of his “Campaign for Democracy” to promote progressive values across the country.
This week he headed to China for a week-long trip to tour, where he is visiting electric-car companies and is promoting cultural exchanges, economic-development projects and action against climate change. He also took a detour, stopping in war-torn Israel to meet with survivors of the Hamas attacks.
He even joked about the whole “is he running or isn’t he?” vibe. “I wish I was president of the United States,” he said in response to reporters’ questions about seeking a ceasefire in Gaza.
It’s not entirely unusual for a governor to take international publicity trips. Other California governors have done so.
Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York, home to the nation’s largest Jewish population, recently visited Israel. And Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is attempting to boost his flagging campaign for president, partnered with a nonprofit to airlift 270 U.S. citizens from Israel to Florida. At least that effort yielded tangible humanitarian goals.
Not only conservatives ripped Newsom’s China trip because he hasn’t made mention of Chinese human-rights violations.
That’s a valid concern, but the bigger question: Why is he gallivanting around the globe as the state struggles with myriad high-profile crises?
For instance, Newsom had vowed to build tiny homes for the homeless across the state. Seven months later, the state hasn’t even awarded any contracts.
That failure is emblematic of California’s approach to homelessness and other major problems — lots of promises and spending, but little follow through.
We have no real problem with Newsom flying to international hotspots, but if he’s serious about running for president, or at least serious about being ready if President Joe Biden bows out of the 2024 race, he ought to get matters in order at home.
Is the Switch Near? Governor Gavin Newsom Has Surprise Meeting With China President Xi Jinping
Governor of California Gavin Newsom had a surprise meeting with China President Xi Jinping on Wednesday.
After the meeting concluded Newsom told a group of reporters that his discussion about fentanyl with Xi were “remarkably positive.”
He continued “The president was rather explicit about the desire to be even more specific in terms of what is needed, in terms of calling out and identifying where these chemicals are going.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom had a surprise meeting with China’s leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on Wednesday after being warmly welcomed by other senior leaders in a display of friendliness that stands in sharp contrast to the dialogue between the United States and China in recent years.
The governor is on a weeklong tour of China where he will push for climate cooperation. Newsom’s trip as governor, once considered routine, is drawing attention as it comes after years of heightening tensions between the U.S. and China.
“I’m here in expectation, as you suggest, of turning the page, of renewing our friendship and reengaging (on) foundational and fundamental issues that will determine our collective faith in the future,” Newsom said in brief opening remarks ahead of his meeting with Wang Yi, China’s top diplomat earlier in the day.
The move by Newsom to visit China and meet up with Xi has many political commentators speculating Newsom will replace Biden as the Democratic Nominee in the upcoming 2024 presidential race.