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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The De-Friending of Gavin Newsom and Eric Jaye

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 4:59 PM

click to enlarge Eric Jaye -- de-friended and willing to advise one and all - WILL HARPER
  • Will Harper
  • Eric Jaye -- de-friended and willing to advise one and all
For a number of years, Mayor Gavin Newsom has had a weekly meeting with his "kitchen cabinet" at a sushi restaurant near City Hall to talk politics. A regular attendee of those Monday night pow-wows has been Newsom's longtime strategist, Eric Jaye.

With Jaye's resignation from Newsom's gubernatorial campaign, however, that's obviously going to change. Jaye deadpanned in an interview with the Snitch that he probably isn't on the invite list for that for that weekly meeting anymore.

The split between Jaye and the mayor affects more than the mayor's underdog campaign for governor. It means that the svengali many credit (and blame) for some of Newsom's boldest programs and decisions -- Care Not Cash and gay marriage, to name a couple -- is no longer advising the mayor on municipal policy. It's the equivalent of Karl Rove quitting during the final lap of Bush's lame duck presidency.

Of course, Jaye and Newsom are putting forward a polite public face as all celebrity couples do after a breakup. Newsom issued a statement calling Jaye a "friend" and Jaye, meanwhile, told the Snitch there were no hard feelings.

But when asked if he would continue to offer political advice to Newsom, Jaye dodged the question and said he's happy to give advice to anyone who calls him -- even Chris Daly. (We'd love to hear that conversation.)

Jaye -- the driving force behind Newsom's obsession with Twitter and Facebook -- has been tabbed a political trend-setter. And so he has inaugurated another one: Newsom advisers quitting/getting voted off Gavin Island.

It says a lot about Newsom -- as a man -- that when confronted with whether to go with his longtime adviser and "friend" (Jaye) or some guy he met a year ago (his other main consultant, Garry South), he sides with the new guy. Politically speaking, it may be the right choice; South is a pro who got dullard Gray Davis elected governor, after all. On a personal level, though -- none too friendly.

But who needs friends? Newsom is sounding a lot less like Barack Obama these days and more like Al Gore, a guy who managed to climb the political ladder without many friends (real ones, not Facebook ones).

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Will Harper

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