Magazine September 1, 2021, Issue

Why Gavin Newsom Faces a Recall Election in California

Signs at a rally for the recall campaign of California governor Gavin Newsom in Carlsbad, Calif., June 30, 2021. (Mike Blake/Reuters)
Firelight, camera, inaction!

In 2019, still settling into his new home in the state’s creepy, gothic governor’s mansion, Gavin Newsom told an Axios interviewer, “California is what America is going to look like.” Then, perhaps reflecting on his Hollywood benefactors, he added for emphasis, “California is America’s coming attraction.”

California has always aspired to be a shining city-state on a hill. But few Californians expected that the source of the hilltop glow, the buttery radiance emanating as if from a Thomas Kinkade (“Painter of Light”) painting, would be Governor Newsom’s — and the state’s — spectacular and deadly spontaneous combustion.

Mind If We Smoke?
I write

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This article appears as “Firelight, Camera, Inaction!” in the September 1, 2021, print edition of National Review.

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Will Swaim is the president of the California Policy Center and a cohost, with David Bahnsen, of National Review’s Radio Free California podcast.

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