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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Gavin Newsom Endorses Hillary Clinton -- Yes, Again

Posted By on Tue, Oct 29, 2013 at 12:35 PM

click to enlarge Surprise!
  • Surprise!

It's a perfect Northern California day outside your window. There's a slight chill in the air, but you won't feel it if you keep walking. People are wearing scarves again. Niners pennants ripple on cars like diplomatic flags.

And Gavin Newsom just endorsed Hillary Clinton.

'Tis the season.

Our erstwhile mayor is a stylish man; he may well have pioneered the blazer-no tie-designer jeans-expensive loafers look. But, melding the world of politics with the sartorial realm, Newsom has remarkably short political coat tails.

He endorsed Hillary in 2008 and offered her his fervent support -- but San Franciscans spurned their mayor's advice, supporting Barack Obama by a 52.5 percent to 44.1 percent margin. San Franciscans always voted for Newsom -- 70 percent of us chose him for lieutenant governor over Janice Hahn in the Democratic primary. But we never put much stock in voting for the people or things he wanted us to vote for.

Clintons and Newsoms, in fact, have been trading endorsements for more than a decade. Bill Clinton stumped for Newsom when he ran for mayor in 2003. Newsom supported Hillary Clinton in '08. The Clintons supported Newsom in his runs for governor and, eventually, lieutenant governor (it's a good bet that Bill Clinton and Jerry Brown aren't exchanging Christmas cards). Now Newsom is supporting Hillary again.

This is inefficient. A lifetime, blanket, multilateral endorsement could have been hammered out between all Newsoms and Clintons, eliminating the need for this piecemeal endorsing.

Voters may like any and all Clintons and Newsoms -- but it's apparent by now that this endorsement has a lot less to do with who would be the best mayor/governor/president/L'Oreal spokesman and everything to do with currying and returning favors.

That's what endorsements are about. But, especially in this city, where a cell phone and a letterhead are enough to establish a Democratic Club, they matter. They're a ready crutch for voters, who can use them to eschew the tedious business of actually reading up on a candidate or a ballot measure.

This is unfortunate. Endorsements are essentially a means of the political class ensuring they work for one another, and not for you. But we do seem to respond to them.

In any event, it's still a perfect Northern California day. We endorse that. We endorse that most heartily.

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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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