Former president Bill Clinton today showed his support for San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom’s run for California governor in 2010. Next month, Clinton will travel to California to accompany Newsom to a Los Angeles event and a large-dollar fundraiser. This high-profile boosterism comes at a good time: native San Franciscan and current State Attorney General Jerry Brown, has reportedly raised twice as much campaign money as his younger opponent.
Although the backing of a former president is a novel one for California statewide primary (or so a former head of the state’s Democratic Party told ABC) it’s not hard to see why Clinton would favor Newsom. Besides the party line, Clinton ran against Brown in 1992 and Newsom was a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton during the Democratic presidential primaries. Newsom told the San Francisco Chronicle the endorsement was “a big deal,” especially considering how early on in the race it is.
While Newsom has been criticized in San Francisco for the Care Not Cash homeless program and “immigration sanctuary,” it’d be hard to find a Democrat Californians like more than Bill Clinton. Basking in Clinton’s glow could only help Newsom, especially considering he polled behind Brown twice in August, even among San Franciscans.