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Friday, March 27, 2009

FINALLY. Gavin Gets Some Media Love on Gay Marriage.

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 7:30 AM

Don't count him out just yet
  • Don't count him out just yet

A common platitude in local politics these days is that Mayor Gavin Newsom has spoiled his chances at statewide office with a series of missteps in California's battle over gay marriage.The mayor's office must have been thrilled when a refreshingly contrarian view appeared in this week's edition of The Economist: Gay marriage may actually be what saves Newsom's run for governor.

The eminent newsweekly concedes that San Francisco's mayor has served as "a stimulus package for the conservative movement" by arousing ire -- and driving voter turnout -- among Republicans with his brash demonstrations of support for same-sex marriage. Yet as The Economist shrewdly notes, Newsom's consistently firm stance on this issue, which makes him anathema to the state's large swathes of conservative voters, could help him survive what is arguably his biggest challenge: The Democratic primary, where front-runner Jerry Brown will have to answer some tough questions from liberals about his flip-flopping on Prop. 8. The piece concludes, "The gesture that made Mr Newsom so hated may yet make his career. And after California, who knows?"

Not bad. Then again, the magazine also published an admiring article about Brown less than a year ago, calling the state attorney general and former governor "a startlingly cultured man in what is sadly an often boorish profession." No such plaudits, alas, for the mayor of San Francisco.

Photo by ecopolitologist.

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Peter Jamison

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