San Francisco and Mayor Newsom

Thomas Lifson
The first reaction of many residents to Gavin Newsom's affair with one of his best friends' wife was a bit of a yawn, in line with the rest of the world's image of the city as a den of iniquity. Imagining itself to be sophisticated (in the same manner that rutting dogs in a park are sophisticated), The City was prepared to overlook former mayor Willie Brown fathering a child out of wedlock while mayor. He had so much style, you see. In fact such tolerance is a tradition.

There is even a hint of condescension toward the rubes who care about matters of personal loyalty, marital fidelity, and personal character. The San Francisco Chronicle's featured political writer Carla Marinucci found reason to sneer in print at  Fox News, always a plus in that newspaper's editorial judgment:
Fox News and other national cable outlets seized on the scandal Thursday
You see, there is a worry that some of the scandal might rub off on Nancy Pelosi and revive the dreaded phrase "San Francisco values" in the public's consciousness. Marinucci neglects to mention the family relationship between Pelosi and Newsom, but does note:
Pelosi... has known Newsom since he was a child....
As we have repeatedly noted here at American Thinker, San Francisco politics are remarkably incestuous, with many of the principal players sharing bonds of family, business and politics. Outsiders, looking at the skyline and the other accoutrements of a metropolis of 6.5 million people (the rough population of the Bay Area), assume that San Francisco politics must approximate those of Los Angeles, Chicago, or at least Philadelphia. But The City has only roughly three quarters of a million residents, and its politics in recent decades have always been about who can pose as a guardian of the powerless while cashing in for friends, family and supporters. Society at the top is controlled by a few families who dictate who is in and out. All in all, more like a small provincial burg than one of The World's Great Cities, as it fancies itself.

As is usually true in small provincial places, pretty much everyone around City Hall knew what was going on. The husband was the last one to know, among the insiders at least. And, according to the Chronicle's ace investigative reporters Matier and Ross:  

There are some who think that even the mayor's closest advisers wanted the bomb to go off, so Newsom would be forced to confront issues that are beginning to affect his mayoralty, most of them involving either women or alcohol. The cavorting with a 19-year-old model and nighttime public sightings in which the mayor appeared to have been drinking have damaged what was once Newsom's strongest political asset -- a squeaky-clean image.

If the story of thrill sex combined with substances is characteristic of this stage of the mayor's life, then perhaps he is entering a period of crisis. He has never appeared to me to be a deeply reflective man, so he may just skate along, supported by the political establishment and the pseudo-sophisticates in his electorate.

But Newsom always had the scent of a man after bigger game: statewide office or even the White House. He certainly reveled in the global publicity accompanying his flouting of state law in officiating at homosexual mock marriages.

This matter will probably not fade from public scrutiny anytime soon. My hope is that it will focus attention on the tight little political establishment which runs San Francisco politics. But frankly, I don't have much hope. There's too much other stuff on which to focus.
The first reaction of many residents to Gavin Newsom's affair with one of his best friends' wife was a bit of a yawn, in line with the rest of the world's image of the city as a den of iniquity. Imagining itself to be sophisticated (in the same manner that rutting dogs in a park are sophisticated), The City was prepared to overlook former mayor Willie Brown fathering a child out of wedlock while mayor. He had so much style, you see. In fact such tolerance is a tradition.

There is even a hint of condescension toward the rubes who care about matters of personal loyalty, marital fidelity, and personal character. The San Francisco Chronicle's featured political writer Carla Marinucci found reason to sneer in print at  Fox News, always a plus in that newspaper's editorial judgment:
Fox News and other national cable outlets seized on the scandal Thursday
You see, there is a worry that some of the scandal might rub off on Nancy Pelosi and revive the dreaded phrase "San Francisco values" in the public's consciousness. Marinucci neglects to mention the family relationship between Pelosi and Newsom, but does note:
Pelosi... has known Newsom since he was a child....
As we have repeatedly noted here at American Thinker, San Francisco politics are remarkably incestuous, with many of the principal players sharing bonds of family, business and politics. Outsiders, looking at the skyline and the other accoutrements of a metropolis of 6.5 million people (the rough population of the Bay Area), assume that San Francisco politics must approximate those of Los Angeles, Chicago, or at least Philadelphia. But The City has only roughly three quarters of a million residents, and its politics in recent decades have always been about who can pose as a guardian of the powerless while cashing in for friends, family and supporters. Society at the top is controlled by a few families who dictate who is in and out. All in all, more like a small provincial burg than one of The World's Great Cities, as it fancies itself.

As is usually true in small provincial places, pretty much everyone around City Hall knew what was going on. The husband was the last one to know, among the insiders at least. And, according to the Chronicle's ace investigative reporters Matier and Ross:  

There are some who think that even the mayor's closest advisers wanted the bomb to go off, so Newsom would be forced to confront issues that are beginning to affect his mayoralty, most of them involving either women or alcohol. The cavorting with a 19-year-old model and nighttime public sightings in which the mayor appeared to have been drinking have damaged what was once Newsom's strongest political asset -- a squeaky-clean image.

If the story of thrill sex combined with substances is characteristic of this stage of the mayor's life, then perhaps he is entering a period of crisis. He has never appeared to me to be a deeply reflective man, so he may just skate along, supported by the political establishment and the pseudo-sophisticates in his electorate.

But Newsom always had the scent of a man after bigger game: statewide office or even the White House. He certainly reveled in the global publicity accompanying his flouting of state law in officiating at homosexual mock marriages.

This matter will probably not fade from public scrutiny anytime soon. My hope is that it will focus attention on the tight little political establishment which runs San Francisco politics. But frankly, I don't have much hope. There's too much other stuff on which to focus.