I had to laugh when CNN featured a discussion about whether the political future of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is in peril after Newsom admitted having an affair with the wife of a friend and former campaign manager. How could it be in peril? This is San Francisco.
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a former San Francisco mayor, has already dismissed the affair with the words, “Look, we all make mistakes.” Even with press reports circulating for months about the 39-year old Newsom cavorting with various babes, including a 19-year old model, and being seen intoxicated in public, his approval ratings have remained in the 70 per cent range. Considering San Francisco values, Newsom’s behavior will likely push his poll numbers even higher.
One accusation, as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, was that Newsom had shown up inebriated at a memorial service for a slain police officer. Apparent insensitivity to the police won’t bring public disapproval in San Francisco. It would take something like showing disrespect for a pot-smoking, same-sex-marriage-supporting military deserter to sink a political career.
Newsom has been talked about as a potential governor of California or a major player in national politics. He remains on track. Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor despite multiple credible reports of groping women on movie sets, and Bill Clinton became president despite the Gennifer Flowers affair. People who actually believe that sex is going to derail a modern-day politician fail to realize how deeply America’s culture has sunk into the toilet, led by cesspools like San Francisco.
The only thing that will keep Newsom from being reelected mayor this November is if he decides he has had enough of politics — there has been speculation to that effect — and chooses not to run again. His behavior is the embodiment of San Francisco, a city where anything goes, and insures that his poster boy status will remain intact. At the moment he has no declared opponent, but any challenger will have to be careful. Criticizing immorality in San Francisco goes over as well as blasting scanty attire at the Playboy Mansion.
Here, for free, is a campaign slogan for Newsom if he ever runs for president: “I left my pants in San Francisco.”
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