century, party leaders embraced him as a rising star, headed for a
bright national career. But then he seemed to go crazy." By "going crazy," Newsweek means Newsom made gay marriage legal in S.F.
talking about God, guns or gays, Newsom has made gay civil rights his
signature issue, a matter of principle for which he would sacrifice his
career. Once viewed as a young man in a hurry, Newsom has become a joke
to Democratic insiders, a man whose bright national future ended before
Usually, stories on local politics done by national media outlets re-hash a bunch of stuff you already know. But while there's plenty of rehashing in this piece, Darman offers a couple of new juicy morsels.
In one delightful scene, the mayor is walking near City Hall having things shouted at him by passersby. "Fuck you," one screams. "Keep getting the pussy, Gavin," another cheers. (Of course, Newsweek censors the profanity. The Snitch, however, assumes its readers can tolerate written expletives.)
But the part of the story most likely to interest political insiders is when Newsom predicts a surprise winner in the battle over who would be the next president of the Board of Supervisors: "It'll be David Chiu; they'll make a deal." It was, as the article noted, "a counterintuitive guess" -- Chiu, a newcomer to the board, was a dark horse in the race -- that demonstrated unexpected savvy about S.F. politics from Newsom. We didn't even know that Gavin, notorious for being an absentee mayor more interested in becoming governor than running the city, could even name one of the newly elected board members. (To read the definitive behind-the-scenes account of the fight to become board president, check out this story in Fog City Journal.)
One final thought: Even though the Newsom profile was part of the "Obama's America" package, Newsom endorsed Hillary Clinton in the primary, not Barack Obama. That little detail is never mentioned in the piece -- perhaps because it didn't fit in with the issue's theme.