With Biden Away, Gavin Newsom Heads to Washington for 4-day Visit

President Joe Biden talks with California Gov. Gavin Newsom as he arrives at Mather Airport on Air Force One Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in Mather, Calif., for a briefing on wildfires at the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Wildfires are raging; a new coronavirus variant is surging; and his state is running out of water, but California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is heading to Washington, D.C., for a four-day visit as President Joe Biden is away on a trip to the Middle East.

Newsom — whose state kept schools closed for more than a year during the coronavirus pandemic, and whose state ranks #44 in the U.S. in educational outcomes, despite high taxes and lavish spending — will receive an education award for his state.

The Associated Press notes that the award recognizes California for its progress in establishing universal pre-K by 2025. But the AP adds that Newsom is thought to be preparing for a presidential run as Democrats try to find ways to dump Biden.

Newsom’s strategy will be to attack Republican states for socially conservative policies. As he does so, however, the AP notes, Newsom is likely to face questions about his poor track record on a variety of urgent issues to voters in his state.

Last month, legislators with Newsom’s support agreed to place a proposal before voters in November that would guarantee a right to an abortion in the state constitution. The heavily Democratic state has some of the nation’s tightest gun safety laws but has continued to expand them after the recent Supreme Court decision, including adding new restrictions on untraceable “ghost guns” and marketing firearms to minors.

California residents are dealing with a long-running homeless crisis, soaring gas and grocery prices and rising crime in major cities. Housing costs are out of reach for many working-class families, and the state has some of the nation’s highest taxes.

A Public Policy Institute of California survey in May found that 50% of respondents believed the state was headed in the wrong direction. And perhaps most tellingly, California has been shedding population — and it’s losing a congressional seat — after years of stratospheric growth.

While Newsom holds out California as a model of “blue state” governance in terms of social issues, the state has also been cited by “red state” governors as an example of failed governance on key economic issues and public service delivery.

Newsom has also faced questions about hypocrisy: his last trip out of the state was to a family vacation in Montana, a state to which California has banned state-sponsored travel due to legislation protecting women’s sports from biological males.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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