"I don't know anymore what's going on in there and I don't think anybody knows what's going on in there," says consultant David Latterman. "Is this the shedding of skin and Newsom will emerge as a phoenix and rise above City Hall and shine a light on us all? Or do people see a defeated Newsom not doing his job and say 'I'm out of here'?"
Whatever the case, the current situation has grown stale.
"It's not funny anymore," continues Latterman. "We pundits and press, we've gotten on Newsom's ass about not spending a lot of time in office and running for governor. There's been some snark to all this. But I don't think people see this as amusing anymore. The snark is starting to disappear and people are starting to be really distressed."
Jim Ross, a consultant who ran Newsom's first campaign for mayor, agreed with Clemens that people come and people go in the world of politics. But when people tend to go -- and go and go -- and the mayor's plans are as clear as a pint of Guinness -- well, then you've got problems.
"The issue isn't that people are coming and going. It's the lack of public vision out of the mayor's office," says Ross. "For the last several weeks, Newsom has behaved unlike any mayor in recent San Francisco history. Also, he's the first mayor where I couldn't tell you what he was trying to accomplish. Willie Brown was always trying to build something, to cut a deal and get something built. Frank Jordan -- a one-term mayor -- was always all about the economy and public safety. Right now, I challenge anybody to tell me what Gavin is trying to achieve as mayor of San Francisco."
And yet, more than one interviewee said that it wouldn't be proper to claim the departure of Ryan is the bellwether
for Newsom's governance; it'd be a challenge for 99 percent of the city to explain what, exactly, Ryan did. But not for Quentin Kopp.
"Ha, ha! Jesus!" exclaimed former supervisor and state senator Kopp when informed Ryan had left Newsom's office. "Well, it was a make-work job anyway. I don't know what the hell Kevin was in that for anyway."
Kopp sighed. "Newsom had a hell of a career. And then it collapsed."