As California's Democratic Governor, Gavin Newsom, has said on several occasions, he's absolutely not running for Joe Biden's job, and if he has to choose a successor for Dianne Feinstein between now and November of next year, it will be an interim choice from people not currently running for her seat in 2024.
As three high-profile California Democrats vie to replace retiring Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom said in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" that he would not appoint any of them to the seat, should it become vacant sooner than expected.
That decision could be a blow to Rep. Barbara Lee, since her allies had reason to believe she was Newsom’s first choice to fill a potential vacancy. But that was before she entered the Senate race, where she is currently trailing in polls behind better-known and better-funded fellow Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Katie Porter.
In his most direct comments on the matter yet, Newsom said in the interview with Chuck Todd for NBC News' "Meet the Press" that airs Sunday that he would instead make an “interim appointment” to replace Feinstein if necessary.
“Yes. Interim appointment. I don’t want to get involved in the primary,” Newsom said. “It would be completely unfair to the Democrats that have worked their tail off. That primary is just a matter of months away. I don’t want to tip the balance of that.”
Lee, Schiff and Porter are locked in a high-profile battle ahead of the March 5 all-party primary, when the top two vote-getters of any party will advance to the November general election. Both may end up being Democrats, given California’s partisan tilt.
A poll released Thursday from the Institute of Government Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, found Schiff and Porter running neck and neck at 20% and 17%, respectively, while Lee trailed at 7%. A third are still undecided.
Feinstein, 90, has resisted calls to resign and said she intends to serve out the remainder of her term, which ends in January 2025.
But her declining health and an ugly family dispute over her late husband’s multi-million-dollar estate has renewed questions about her ability to do her job.
Newsom is openly dreading the prospect of having to fill another Senate vacancy, having already hand-picked his state’s other senator, Alex Padilla, to fill the seat vacated by now-Vice President Kamala Harris.
“I don’t want to make another appointment, and I don’t think the people of California want me to make another appointment,” Newsom told Todd.
Newsom also reiterated that he has no 2024 plans for the presidency. It's so weird that literally the only people who think Newsom has designs on the Oval Office next year are Republicans who are 100% Newsom is lying and will stab Joe Biden in the front and the back, which I guess tells you everything you need to know about right-wing pundits.
Meanwhile, left-wing pundits like myself are telling everyone in blogshot, postshot, and earshot that Trump's going to win the 2024 GOP primary but nobody on the right wants to believe that for a second.
Now, do I expect Newsom has 2028 plans to run against Kamala Harris, absolutely. I think that's going to be wide open and messy as hell, not because VP Harris isn't qualified, but that history assures us that approximately every non-Black, non-female Democrat will figure they can do that job too.
That's a tale for another time, and five years in presidential politics is an eternity. But as for Newsom in 2024, that's not happening, and Republcians are in as much denial there as they are over the GOP being Trump's party of white Christian Dominionist supremacy.