For a lot of Wednesday night, Gavin Newsom, the Democratic governor of California, drew almost as a lot consideration on the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, Calif., because the Republican presidential candidates who had been there for his or her second debate.
Mr. Newsom spoke to Fox Information, MSNBC and CNN. He was there earlier than the talk, shuttling from microphone to open pocket book, and stayed lengthy after the Republican candidates headed out, thronged by reporters as he talked down the Republican area and talked up President Biden.
“Clearly Joe Biden walks away with this debate,” Mr. Newsom mentioned to a jostling crowd who sought his response afterward. “And possibly Donald Trump. It’s simply the J.V. crew. These guys are possibly working for vp.”
Mr. Newsom went to Simi Valley, aides mentioned, on the request of the Biden marketing campaign, which — in what has lengthy been normal apply — assigns high-profile surrogates to speak to reporters and tv correspondents at moments like this.
However Mr. Newsom was no bizarre surrogate. A bundle of power and sharp-edged quotes who appears to relish the prospect of scrapping with high-profile conservative hosts like Sean Hannity, Mr. Newsom left little doubt that he has develop into the main surrogate for not solely Mr. Biden but in addition for himself, as he considers a run for the White Home in 2028. (He’s additionally ready by the sidelines on the off probability that Mr. Biden finally ends up not working in 2024.)
“What Gavin essentially will get is that Democrats need leaders who converse with confidence in regards to the future with an intergenerational credibility, can take a punch however hit again more durable and don’t start their sentences with speaking about Home resolutions or Senate payments or varied acronyms,” mentioned Chris Lehane, a Democratic guide who has labored in nationwide and California politics. “He goes on these reveals enjoying to win, not as if they’re a Harvard-Yale debate.”
Mr. Newsom just isn’t the one Democrat with a political future who has been out making the case for Mr. Biden. He’s a part of a next-generation area that features, amongst others, three governors: Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania and J.B. Pritzker of Illinois. However none have been fairly as energetic on this sluggish roll-up to the Iowa caucuses as Mr. Newsom, who has been touring throughout the nation.
“I feel that is in equal service to Biden ’24 and Newsom ’28,” mentioned Matt Bennett, a founding father of Third Method, a centrist Democratic group. “He’s clearly real in his help for the president, and he’s apparent in his intent to run sometime.”
And Mr. Newsom is now set to debate Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Florida Republican looking for his social gathering’s presidential nomination, in Georgia this November. That uncommon face-off — between two sitting governors, considered one of them a presidential candidate — got here up usually as Mr. Newsom boasted that he had baited Mr. DeSantis into this encounter.
“Why is he doing it?” Mr. Newsom mentioned on CNN. “The truth that he took this debate, the truth that he took the bait in relation to this debate, reveals he’s utterly unqualified to be president of the US. Why is he debating a man who’s not even working for president when he’s working for president?”
Mr. Newsom made a lot the identical level at one other of his round-robin, post-debate periods, this one with Mr. Hannity of Fox Information, which can host the DeSantis-Newsom skirmish. Mr. Newsom laughed when Mr. Hannity urged that his actual agenda was positioning himself to be the Democratic candidate for president.
“Joe Biden’s our president,” Mr. Newsom mentioned. “Joe Biden goes to win this election.”
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