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Newsom quotes the giant within 

Wednesday, Oct 14 2009

Gavin Newsom is a handsome and charismatic enough speaker that he could grab a microphone and spend 10 minutes detailing the meteorological conditions affecting British Columbia and still leave audiences feeling a warm glow. You know, this may even have happened once or twice.

Yet, every once in a while, an odd phrase pops out of his stream of mellifluous superlatives like a pebble cracking off the windshield. This happened last week as he stood alongside former President Bill Clinton at Los Angeles City College to publicize Clinton's endorsement of Newsom's gubernatorial bid. The raven-maned politician thanked the silver-maned politician before declaring, "I've always believed we're nothing but a mirror of our consistent thoughts ..."

Wow, deep. At least, it sounds deep. Or at least it sounds like something Newsom would say — although he certainly didn't say it first. It turns out the phrase, "Life is nothing but a mirror of your consistent thoughts," is a staple quote of Anthony Robbins, the gargantuan motivational guru and infomercial king who wrote Awaken the Giant Within and many other books and videos lots of people buy, but very few people will cop to owning.

Mayoral spokesman Nathan Ballard and gubernatorial campaign manager Nick Clemons did not return messages querying Newsom's relationship to Robbins and why he saw fit to pop unattributed Robbins quotes into his speeches. But this is apparently nothing new. City politicos told SF Weekly that Newsom is a Robbins fan, and has a habit of mixing the self-help savant's profound-sounding banter into his speeches — especially when speaking extemporaneously.

With that in mind, we wonder what other pearls of wisdom Newsom may utter on the campaign trail:

• "I've always believed that we have nothing to fear but fear itself."

• "I'm steadfastly committed to a principle I call 'All You Need Is Love.'" 

• "You know, I'm often asked how long a man's legs must be. I firmly believe they must be long enough to reach the ground."

• "The other day, an idea came to me: When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands that have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. I'm Gavin Newsom, and I want your vote."

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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