Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) was seen Wednesday sauntering into the White House in the occupant’s absence, jacket in hand and sleeves rolled up. He was ostensibly there for meetings with White House staff, Democratic leaders, and even First Lady Jill Biden, but a video of the famously ambitious politician’s entrance caused a buzz.
“Gavin Newsom showing up to visit the White House the day after Joe Biden leaves for Israel is so next level diabolical I can’t help but respect it,” tweeted Fox News contributor Clay Travis.
Democrats have increasingly begun to question whether the 79-year-old Biden is their best bet in 2024, and Newsom’s appearance may provide a preview of what a younger, more vibrant Democratic president could look like in D.C. — despite adamant denials he is not running in 2024.
John Morgan, an Orlando-area attorney and Biden bundler, recently told reporters that Newsom and other potential contenders “don’t know if Biden is going to run or not.”
“They are thinking, ‘I don’t know if I am going to be at the swim meet or not, but I am going to put my bathing suit on anyway,” he added.
Morgan also said that Newsom “looks like a million dollars … And he looks at the Democratic bench, and he doesn’t see anyone sitting there, so he says, ‘I am going to sit there.’”
Whether Newsom was there to measure drapes or to conduct business – or both – is unknown. But his easy rapport with reporters, toothy smile, and California-casual look was reminiscent of former President Barack Obama, Biden’s old boss.
Gov. Newsom arrives at the White House for meetings. Video via @Elex_Michaelson
— KTVU (@KTVU) July 13, 2022
Newsom’s appearance came as Biden was shuffling through the Middle East, first meeting with Israeli officials in Tel Aviv, where he appeared lost and gaffe-prone. Then, the commander-in-chief went to Jeddah where he angered the Washington Post and key members of his own party by fist-bumping Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose human rights record has drawn international condemnation.
“If we ever needed a visual reminder of the continuing grip oil-rich autocrats have on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, we got it today,” Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) tweeted. “One fist bump is worth a thousand words.”
Making matters worse, Biden failed in his main mission, to get the Kingdom to turn up the oil spigots.
Meanwhile, Politico reported that the California governor met with high-ranking Biden administration officials, including the first lady, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, domestic policy advisor Susan Rice and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge, to discuss potential solutions to his state’s rampant homelessness crisis as well as its perennial battle with wildfires.
During his visit to the nation’s capital, Newsom also met with top Democratic leaders including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi while offering his state’s “support for their bold progressive agenda for America.”
For his part, Newsom has emphasized that he supports Biden and so far, has no plans to run in 2024.