Newsom says he won’t challenge Biden, but why would a failing governor even consider it?

Gavin Newsom
Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a California Democratic Party event. (Jeff Chiu/AP)

Newsom says he won’t challenge Biden, but why would a failing governor even consider it?

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced that he will not be running for president against Joe Biden in 2024. The real wonder is that he was ever considering it.

There are two reasons why Newsom’s candidacy wouldn’t have a prayer.

The first has to do with Biden’s standing after the 2022 election result. Democrats avoided the so-called red wave that so many had expected. But this has one major negative effect for them — their party’s failure to lose big in 2022 puts Biden in the catbird seat for renomination. If he wants it, he’s going to be nearly impossible to beat. This might be the Democrats’ biggest problem in 2024, but there is no chance that Newsom is their solution.

The second problem has to do with Newsom’s own track record. Sure, he can win reelection no matter what, but his state is the poster child for everything that is going along in Blue America right now.

The Golden State is literally losing population — not just losing ground in the census by not growing fast enough, like Ohio or New York, but actually losing population. That’s not normal for states. Newsom has dishonestly attempted to blame some kind of visa policy, and the excuse is laughable. He thinks people are dumb enough not to know that visa policies apply to all U.S. states equally. California’s problem is not about visas. It is about domestic outmigration by Californians and Californian employers. They are leaving as fast as they can and going to better-run states such as Texas, Florida, Utah, and Idaho.

There are several reasons people, mostly middle-class people, are fleeing California. One is the rising rate of crime and the failure by liberal district attorneys to crack down. Another is the epidemic of homelessness, which California officials have proven that no amount of money can solve as long as they cling bitterly to the same old failed approach to policy.

Another is that California’s legislature has worked to preserve in amber a housing market where only the wealthiest can obtain a place to live. That has sent the state’s middle class cashing out their expensive houses and moving to more affordable and more livable places that lack the massive crime and homeless problems. Newsom has actually tried to fix this, and he has proven completely impotent. His stated housing goals have been rolled back to the point of absurdity. His failure to accomplish anything in this regard would be fatal to any presidential run.

Another reason people are leaving California is that it taxes the incomes of people making just $60,000 a year at a higher rate than most states tax millionaires. This wasn’t Newsom’s invention, but it’s not like he’s done anything about it. In fact, good luck getting the liberals in the legislature to do anything about it, ever. They are facing a $25 billion deficit next year, and they know that they cannot make the state’s financial ends meet without soaking the middle class.

Yet another reason for the exodus is that California is making war on its local gig economy, attempting to force independent contractors into employee wage labor. This is the Democrats’ strategy for reviving unions, by the way, which is sort of like a plan for making water run back uphill. They are going to ruin the market for ordinary people to achieve self-employment and independence so that political allies can capitalize. To Democrats, your financial independence is an obstacle to their permanent political dominance.

Oh, and thanks to its environmental policies, California can’t even keep the lights on, and it’s a regular thing. What other state has that problem?

If Newsom were to run in a Democratic primary, other Democrats would wisely bring up some or all of these issues. And several of them would have a better chance of toppling Biden than he does.

Other Democratic governors — Washington’s Jay Inslee and Colorado’s Jared Polis, for example — have managed to run left-leaning states without running them into the ground. So, what is Newsom’s excuse?

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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