California Gov. Gavin Newsom went from offering a cautionary tale to charting the kind of course that Democrats may want to follow.
President Joe Biden is helping him get there -- and also hoping that Newsom helps him out along the way. The president will campaign alongside Newsom Monday in Long Beach, the day before voting ends in a recall effort that was emboldened by backlash to COVID-19 restrictions, but that might be decided by backlash to that backlash.
Just like recall proponents have used anger over mandates and shutdowns as an argument to replace the governor, Democrats are using COVID-19 as a case in point for why Newsom should stay.
Newsom's campaign has juiced ballot returns with concerns that a Republican governor would, as Newsom said last week, "walk us off that same COVID cliff" as GOP-led states like Texas and Florida. The leading Republican replacement candidate, Larry Elder, has promised to roll back vaccine and mask mandates immediately if he is sworn in.
Biden touches down in California having just unveiled sweeping federal vaccination mandates that reach deep into the private sector. Those moves brought outrage among conservatives, including some 19 Republican governors vowing to challenge his authority, in court or the court of public opinion.
On that point, Biden and Newsom are both counting on a vocal minority getting drowned out and outvoted by a broad majority that doesn't want more backsliding in fighting the pandemic. California may make for an imperfect test case, but lessons learned there will carry into other races in 2021 and 2022.
September 13, 2021
Voices4America Post Script. The President is with #GavinNewsom in Long Beach, CA today. #VoteNO September 14 is the last day to fight to #KeepCaliforniaBlue