But the announcement that Bill Clinton is endorsing Newsom for governor changes all that. The Clinton endorsement "certainly will quiet the speculation," predicts Corey Cook, a professor of political science at the University of San Francisco.
Cook says endorsements do matter: 2006 guv candidate Phil Angelides won the Democratic primary against rich-guy Steve Westly thanks in great part to the backing of labor and Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Speaking of Feinstein, the popular senator still has yet to take sides in the race. But she and Newsom are close (the mayor describes her as a mentor) and if she endorsed Gavin -- well, that would totally wash the loser stink off of him.