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Monday, March 7, 2016

Ed Lee Gives S.F. Mayoral Kiss of Death to Hillary Clinton

Posted By on Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 7:00 AM

click image ED LEE/FACEBOOK
  • Ed Lee/Facebook

Over the weekend, as our friends at SFist noted, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee appeared at a campaign rally in his native Washington state ahead of the March 26 Democratic Primary there.

Ed's choice: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a friend-of-tech who of late has been a fixture in California, appearing at tony homes in the Peninsula for fundraisers (the Hillster graced Atherton on Feb. 21; her husband, cigar aficionado Billster, popped into Hillsborough earlier in the year.)

Ed's not feeling the Bern, and neither are his powerful friends: Hillary's the choice of every big-time local elected Democrat, including Lee's mayoral predecessors Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Willie Brown, Jr., and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (the latter of whom was ready for Hillary way back in 2013). 

But, as past results have shown, this might not be an endorsement Hillary wants. When he was mayor, Gavin also endorsed Hillary — and how'd that turn out?

Not so well, in fact. 

First, a reminder to supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders that this should not be a surprise: Clinton, the clear choice of the Democratic Party establishment to become the party's nominee, has always been the choice of the San Francisco Democratic Party establishment.

In 2008, then-Mayor Gavin Newsom was an unabashed Clinton supporter, and welcomed his fellow magnetic Democrat Bill Clinton to the Ferry Building for a Hillary rally.

Clinton won the California primary with 51.47 of the vote, thanks mostly to wins in Los Angeles and San Diego counties, but a fellow named Barack Obama won in San Francisco — and, as we recall, later won the party nomination and became president. (For those keeping score at home: then-District Attorney Kamala Harris was an outlier in local Democratic circles for her early endorsement of Barack Obama). 

As for other big-time local Democrats: U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who as party Minority Leader is arguably the most-powerful San Franciscan, has yet to endorse anyone yet. Of the other four Democrats mentioned here, she's the only one not to serve as mayor. Meaning, according to our sample size of one from eight years ago, Pelosi's is the endorsement you actually want. 
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About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.

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