California’s Governor Gavin Newsom made it crystal clear last fall that he won’t challenge President Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination in 2024. He is “waiting his turn” until 2028. Newsom easily won reelection as governor of California last year after fending off a recall in 2021.
“I’ve told everyone in the White House, from the chief of staff to the first lady,” Newsom was quoted as saying by Politico last November; and added that the situation wouldn’t change even if Biden weren’t to seek re-election.
Despite this proclamation from the Golden State’s governor, there has been much speculation that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) could tap Newsom or another candidate. But it remains little more than “speculation,” with little to no evidence that a cabal of DNC leaders is secretly plotting such a move.
Yet, it was on Monday that Adams Brandon, president of FreedomWorks, offered in an op-ed for the Washington Times, “It is clear, however, that with Mr. Biden’s age, frailty, proneness to gaffes, and the vast majority of Democratic voters hoping he does not seek a second term, the Democratic Party reluctantly supports Mr. Biden as its leader,” and he went on to add, “I’m willing to make a bold prediction and say that by the end of October, Mr. Biden will withdraw his reelection bid, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom will be declared the Democrats’ most viable option for the presidency.”
Bold Prediction Considered
Brandon’s “bold prediction” is merely based on the DNC moving up key primary states, while he suggested Newsom has positioned himself as an alternative.
It is indeed a bold prediction, just like those who said “cars are just a fad,” or “people will only want to shop in stores,” while it was also predicted there would be a massive “red wave” in the 2022 midterms, and the Supreme Court wouldn’t overturn Roe v. Wade. It is possible we’ll see an “October surprise,” albeit a full year ahead of schedule. Still, this prediction is less on the level of Nostradamus and is really more high-probability guesswork.
Gavin Newsom – An Obvious Choice Obviously!
The truth is that few Democrats have actually lined up in case President Joe Biden can’t run or opts not to do so – unless we count Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who few are taking seriously at this point.
Yet, the shortlists of who could replace Biden have been circulating for some time.
Harris would normally seem to be the heir apparent, but her poll numbers are so bad even she’d likely see her chances of winning the nomination as a long shot at best. The same is true of superstar-loser Stacey Abrams, who has proven good at getting headlines but needs more voters, while Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg is carrying too much baggage at this point to be considered a viable candidate, and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota lacks name recognition on
Thus, the only viable alternative to Newsom would be Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, but the Wolverine State has never delivered any candidate to the White House – with the exception of Gerald Ford, who wasn’t actually elected president.
That leaves Newsom on most short-lists to replace Biden.
Yet, the California governor has wisely made it clear 2024 isn’t his year. He may not be the candidate to defeat Donald Trump, even if Biden likely can. With Trump likely out of the picture in 2028, Newsom may want to bide his time.
Thus, the not-so-bold prediction is that 2028 could see a Governor Showdown between Florida’s Ron DeSantis and California’s Gavin Newsom. Voters could decide whether they want the country to more closely resemble the Sunshine State or the Golden State. That could be the real race to watch.
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.