Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Extraordinary Mayor 

Wednesday, Jul 11 2007
Gavin Newsom's view of his world and those who inhabit it is nothing less than "extraordinary." As evidence of this, we cite his generous use of "extraordinary," which is in itself "extraordinary."

Newsom always peppers his official speeches and off-the-cuff remarks with extraordinary use of "extraordinary" or "extraordinarily." A recent example in his "extraordinary" four-year mono-adjectival odyssey came on June 18 when he used it twice in one minute while describing the city's plan for the 49ers stadium proposal at Hunters Point. The plans, he said, are "progressing extraordinarily well." His meeting with D.C. bigwigs: "We've had extraordinarily positive meetings ..."

His is a long-standing love affair with the word, dating back to his inaugural speech, where he used it about a dozen times in describing everything from his then-wife Kimberly Guilfoyle to Matt Gonzales' campaign to the pastries on the catering tray. More examples: In describing the Sierra Club in a speech: "I look forward to many more extraordinary years of leadership from the Sierra Club." In describing his former Chief of Staff Steve Kawa: "Steve is the most extraordinary public servant I have ever known." In describing Supervisor Tom Ammiano: "This will not have happened if it had not been for Supervisor Ammiano's extraordinary willingness to work together." In describing his ex-friend whose wife he had sex with, "He's an extraordinary leader of our campaigns ..."

The usage goes on and on, folks. You can play along, too. Many of you thought, for instance, that Newsom's decision to remove trash cans from a city full of trash was extraordinarily dumb. And the number of unsolved murders in the city are up to an extraordinary number.

At the end of the day (another overused phrase), does it really matter that our mayor can't think of any other adjectives? Well, yes, beyond it being extraordinarily annoying, and given the fact that overuse of a word dilutes a word's meaning and power (think: terror, freedom, democracy, Paris Hilton). But when our self-styled Robert Kennedy, the "big idea" guy, a man desperate for the national stage has none of the eloquence or substance of his self-styled mentor, then perhaps the comparison is "extraordinarily" false. We are thrusting forward our practiced "Clinton thumb" gesture as we say this, another Newsom favorite.

About The Author

Scot Bishop


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"