For the last year, President Joe Biden has indicated that he will seek reelection in 2024. There is much to support this claim. He has governed as though he were planning to have a second act as president of the United States. Yet, there are some who either do not want the forty-sixth president to run or who do not believe that he will, in fact, run.
Frankly, until President Biden officially announces his intent to run for reelection, this will continue to be a topic of discussion. Because Biden has not totally closed the door on whether he will seek reelection, many of us political pundits have spent much time—and many column inches—speculating just who might run in his stead.
Who Could It Be Now?
Michelle Obama is one name that the most hopeful Democrats keep bandying about. Maybe the dark horse of Hillary Clinton will return from the political graveyard to seek one, last shot at the big chair. Biden’s current number two, Vice-President Kamala Harris. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, perhaps?
All these names are believable as possible replacements. But the most likely candidate that people should be watching much closer than they are is none other California Governor Gavin Newsom.
While the Mice Are Away…
Last summer, President Biden made his big foreign trip to the Middle East. He met with the region’s leaders and attempted to reassert America’s leadership role in that vital region (given how things have gone since that fateful meeting, one can assess Biden’s trip was an unmitigated failure).
While Biden and his team were away in the Mideast, pictures began circulating around the media of a jacketless Mayor Gavin Newsom, wearing a stark white shirt, a loosened tie, and rolled up shirtsleeves, trekking between the Old Executive Office Building (OEOB) and the neighboring White House, followed by a coterie of courtiers.
Officially, Newsom was accepting an award from the Education Commission of States “in recognition of California’s transformative improvements to education” (California ranks 50th in literacy). It was revealed he had a meeting with Vice-President Harris, too.
Or, just maybe, the California governor was picking which color rug he prefers in the Oval Office? Remember what they say about the cat being away and the mice going out to play? Oh well.
Gavin Newsom at the Ready?
For several years, Gavin Newsom has been billed as a possible future president for the Democratic Party. He fits the bill of a possible presidential candidate. Newsom is camera friendly, and he is the chief executive of the largest economy in Union—soon to be fourth-largest in the world. Whether Newsom’s policies as California governor have been successful is up for debate. While California has experienced overall economic growth, the fact remains that Newsom has governed as the most consistently Left-wing chief executive in the country since he rose to power in California. And these policies have driven out many people and prevented many others from enjoying California’s economic growth.
Gavin Newsom is the embodiment of the Democratic Party’s love of statism. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Newsom was one of the most draconian practitioners of onerous pandemic lockdowns, vaccine mandates, social distancing measures, and an assortment of other policies that his opponents described as bordering on “medical fascism”. The state has seen two million of its residents permanently relocate from the Bear State to other states—normally Red States, like Texas or Idaho—since 2010.
But the process has been expedited since 2019, the year that Newsom became the governor of California. The number one reason that those people leave California is for economic reasons (in other words, “the rent is too damn high!”)
As Hans Johnson and Eric McGhee of the Public Policy Institute of California have assessed, those leaving California are no longer just in the lower income brackets, where one would expect to see higher costs of living and other unwanted economic impositions felt the hardest. The Californians who fled their homes during Newsom’s reign came from all across the socioeconomic spectrum.
Nevertheless, Governor Newsom has survived scandals and he has even come out unscathed from a shambolic recall attempt in which fellow Democrats challenged his reign. Meanwhile, Newsom has passed the most Progressive agenda of any state governor in America today. Newsom has championed the creation of safe, public injection sites for drug addicts. He has called for the banning of all gas-powered vehicles by 2035.
Newsom is a Climate Change fanatic, if not totally in practice, then certainly in principle. The policies he supports involve massive tax hikes on “polluters” (which includes ordinary, middle-class Americans who consume purportedly environmentally unfriendly products) and generous taxpayer subsidies for politically friendly “Green” companies and individuals. These measures and more have helped to make Newsom’s California the 49th worst state in the nation in terms of its overall tax climate for businesses—large and small.
On almost every major policy, Newsom is the future of the Democratic Party in much the same way that Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis is the perfect counterpoint—and the future—of the Republican Party. Newsom’s relative youth (especially compared to both Biden and former Republican President Donald J. Trump) also gives him added heft, should he decide to run in 2024.
Gavin Newsom ’24: Closer Than You Think
For the record, Newsom has said he would only run in 2024 if Joe Biden had publicly declared he was not running for reelection. That may seem magnanimous to the uninitiated, but it must be noted that there is no honor among thieves and there is much backstabbing when competing for the most powerful office in the land—especially against a compromised soon-to-be-octogenarian, like Biden or a raging septuagenarian, like Donald Trump.
Even as Newsom has made these comments, few recognize that the California governor is sitting atop a massive campaign war chest. This is not for him to run again in California. The war chest is a failsafe, should Biden decline to run again (which, if the House GOP investigation into Hunter Biden’s finances continues apace, may eventuate in Biden’s decision not to run again). He’s already deployed some of this money against his potential 2024 rival, DeSantis.
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Newsom has a national profile. He’s got the executive experience. The California governor is popular among the rank-and-file Democratic Party members. He has proven he can beat any challenges from his Left, as Newsom did in his recent recall challenge. Newsom clearly can fundraise like no one else—which is more important in modern politics than even what you stand for. And with the Republicans nibbling their way to the core of the Biden Family’s unbelievable corruption, it just might be that Gavin Newsom is the Democratic Party’s, white knight (ironic, considering the Democrats have billed themselves as the party of diversity).
I’d hate to say it, but Gavin Newsom in 2024 just might be happening.
Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who serves as a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive.com. Weichert is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (March 28), and Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.