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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Newsom's Twitter Silence Reaches 13 Days -- Odd *and* Unlucky, But Not Unprecedented

Posted By on Tue, Nov 10, 2009 at 8:30 AM

click to enlarge wheresgavinnow.jpg
Gavin Milhous Newsom's Nixon-like treatment of the San Francisco press reached 10 days yesterday. The Chron noted earlier that the man once given the sobriquet Mayor Twitter has even sworn off the service; Newsom last tweeted on Oct. 28. For the past two weeks, Newsom may as well have been Amish when it comes to electronic media.

Has Newsom ever before gone cold turkey on the Twitter before? Surely you can't Tweet everything. Well, the answers to those questions are "not really" and "unfortunately, you can."

Newsom has been Tweeting ever since December of 2007 and has amassed 520 Tweets -- but he didn't start Tweeting compulsively until this year. Scrolling through his feed, a gap of even more than two days is rare in this the modern Tweeting era, though he has gone on hiatus for up to six days at a time (He Tweeted "Hitting the trail hard next couple weeks. Town halls in Long Beach, OC, SAC and Riverside. Hope to see you." on Aug. 4 and "Talked with company, @Kiva that is changing lives through micro-lending on my radio show. Podcast is up" on Aug. 10, for example).

Back in his primordial Twitter days -- that'd be December and January, he once went a full 14 days between Tweets (Dec. 31: "Help me launch my campaign for Governor, go to and give $5 before midnight tonight!". Jan. 14: "Great day for equality. Aide announces that President Obama will end "don't ask, don't tell""). And, finally, back in the Pleistocene Newsom went between December of '07 and October of '08 between Tweets. 

Searching for banal or ridiculous Tweets authored by Gavin Newsom seems beside the point -- these are Tweets. That'd be like compiling a list of gruesome executions on the guillotine. But if you forced me to make a choice, I'd go with the 68 consecutive messages of "thanks," "thank you" or some such derivation made on Feb. 21 of this year.

Anyhow, we thought a lot before describing Newsom's relationship with the local press as "Nixonian" -- he's always been more talky with parachute, national journalists who don't ask boring questions about actually running a city. But, in the end, it was all too apt. And now, with Newsom's behavior growing ever more eccentric, we're wondering what "last days" scenario will be played out in City Hall. Will Newsom be spotted having contentious conversations with the busts of former mayors? Will he force Nathan Ballard to his knees to pray with him? Will he make a televised speech and desperately mention a pet or his wife's cloth coat? It's all in play.

Finally, here are some Tweets from @RichardNixon:

  • U Won't Have Dick Nixon 2 Kick Around No More
  • Don't Get the impression U arouse my anger. U see, 1 can only be angry w those he respects
  • When the prez does it, that means that it's not illegal
  • I M Not a Crook
  • Pin It

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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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