Faced with an almost certain recall and harsh criticism over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the vaccination rollout, California Governor Gavin Newsom was in the midst of the campaign tonight in his third annual State of the state.
“The state of our state remains determined,” the former mayor of San Francisco Newsom said Tuesday from a nearly empty Dodger Stadium. “I remain determined!”
“We will not change course just because of a few non-sayers and the end of the world,” added the governor in a free kick to political rivals like former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer.
“So to California critics, who promote partisan takeovers and outdated prejudices, and reject everything that makes California great, we say this: We will not be distracted by the gunfire and our economy. in full swing, “the oft-rushed and quirky Newsom said in what will likely be one of his lines of applause, once the impending recall kicks off and a special election is underway.
How to watch California Governor Gavin Newsom’s state-of-the-art address on Tuesday
Fully aware that this is one of the most defining speeches of his brilliant career, the generally unfazed Newsom reiterated his mantra that “science, not politics, guides our decisions”. But, after Newsom’s campaign storm last week under another name, many Californians doubt the governor’s sudden decision to reopen the state and its schools faster was data driven.
“It’s a fight for the future of California,” the first governor said in tonight’s carefully orchestrated and visually enhanced laundry list speech. It’s a winning line that has already been shaken as Republicans taste blood in what could be their first return to the state’s top office in more than 15 years. “California needs a comeback, but the only comeback Gavin Newsom is focusing on is his,” Faulconer proclaimed in the response speech he posted online before Newsom even stepped on camera.
Symbolically held at the home of the World Series winning MLB team in Los Angeles with its capacity of 55,000, which is just a little more than the number of Californians who have died from Covid-19, the speech has seen Newsom on its back ever since. the start – not because it started 16 minutes later than the initial 6pm departure and was occasionally drowned by aerial helicopters.
On the one hand, even as coronavirus cases and deaths plummet in California, shutdowns and the start of lockdowns, the battered economy and closed schools have left many in the Golden State both exhausted, broke and frustrated. Along with incidents like the hypocrisy of Newsom’s disastrous visit last fall to beloved French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley, the governor lost much of its luster as vaccinations in California appeared to stumble in the first few weeks. of the year.
Stepping outside the traditional confines of the state legislature in Sacramento, tonight’s state-of-the-state speech was a full television production.
In addition to the giant video screens flanking the Governor, there were multiple camera angles and additional footage of the Hollywood Sign. To increase visual value, the control room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and images of frontline health workers’ “silent heroes” were also part of the show. In fact, at the end of the nearly 30-minute speech, Newsom waved to digital spectators on the monitors next to him on the baseball field.
In what could be the final rounds of the pandemic, Newsom never explicitly mentioned the recall effort on Tuesday, yet in the fight of his charmed political life and with nearly 2 million signatures collected for this recall, Newsom seems to be the
As for the speech itself, Newsom’s critics might not agree with all of his coronavirus policy statements and bragging points.
“As others competed to buy personal protective equipment at exorbitant prices, we quickly built our own pipeline, providing essential equipment to millions of essential workers,” he said on Tuesday. But the governor has come under heavy criticism over two deals with a Chinese manufacturer, BYD, worth nearly $ 1.5 billion.
He also touted “a premier state-run testing lab.” This lab was unique and, at $ 120 million, a big bet for Newsom. But recently it was revealed that the launch of the Valencia facility was marred by a surprisingly high number of inconclusive test results.
“We bring certainty,” Newsom also said. “The certainty that we are vaccinating Californians safely as quickly as possible.”
Tell that to local health officials who President Joe Biden promised on his second day in office that they would have a predictable three-week window on the number of doses they would receive. By Newsom’s own admission, he receives these predictions. But local health workers statewide last week still only received a week’s view, if that was the case.
Yet one thing Newsom deserves credit for, which he rightly pointed out in his speech tonight, is the prioritization of vaccine equity, setting aside 40% of the state’s supply. for underserved communities.
With all of this, Newsom is still in a good position to win the recall special election if that happens. It won’t be in the landslide that saw Newsom succeed Jerry Brown in 2018, but in the absence of a superstar candidate like Arnold Schwarzenegger, the state’s GOP is divided – and politicians usually don’t win. because of their own merits, but the shortcomings of their enemies.