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The devil whispered you can’t withstand the storm The Irish girl replies I am the feckin storm poster
But having ridden the back of the tiger, Newsom must now contend with its teeth. He has spent much of the last few years putting himself at the vanguard of progressive governance, bolstering his national profile (and eventual White House prospects) by presenting California as the future of America. Former President Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s campaign apparatus and conservative pundits have been eager to retort that the liberal future Newsom envisions looks like a homelessness-wracked dystopia. They stand equally ready to frame Newsom as the man responsible for shuttered schools, wrecked businesses, confusing restrictions and some of America’s most stubborn coronavirus hotspots. The goal isn’t just about ejecting Newsom from office. It’s also about utterly discrediting what he represents.
BUENOS DÍAS, good Friday morning. Happy Lunar New Year to all of you who are celebrating! Here’s hoping the Year of the Ox goes a little more smoothly than the Year of the Rat.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Gov. Newsom’s authoritarian measures, blatant overreach and complete mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic have proven that he is woefully unqualified to lead the state of California. It is time the people use their constitutional recourse to remove him from power.” RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel.
TWEET OF THE DAY: NYT opinion writer Ezra Klein @EzraKlein on San Francisco politics: “In much of SF, you can’t walk 20 feet without seeing a sign declaring that Black lives matter and no human being is illegal. Those signs sit in yards zoned for single families, in communities that organize against the new housing that would bring those values closer to reality.” (More from him on this in NYT.)
WHERE’S GAVIN? Nothing official announced.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: California Playbook will not publish on Monday, Feb. 15. We’ll be back on our normal schedule on Tuesday, Feb 16. Please continue to follow POLITICO California.
SF SCHOOL SMACKDOWN — ‘We’ve become parodies of ourselves’: California Democrats bemoan SF school board, by POLITICO’s Jeremy B. White and Carla Marinucci: Board members last month decided Abraham Lincoln — and current U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein — were no longer worthy of having their names on San Francisco schools. The same board this week devoted much of a marathon meeting to upending storied Lowell High School, saying its admissions requirements resulted in an academic enclave lacking diversity. And it spent two hours debating whether a parent had a sufficiently diverse background to join an advisory council (the board concluded he did not).
The San Francisco Board of Education has drawn national criticism as an example of California’s liberalism gone too far, especially as campuses in the district remain shut despite San Francisco having one of the lowest Covid-19 infection rates in the state. California Democrats routinely lament that conservative attacks on their state are exaggerated for effect, but this time even they are shaking their heads, many saying the caricature has turned out to be true.