"Where is Gavin Newsom?"
It started off as an innocent question posed by conservative outlets and Twitter commentators. It has gone on for so long, however, that this week it officially entered the mainstream press:
Two weeks ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he would be leading a delegation to the U.N. climate change summit in Scotland. Four days later, his office abruptly announced he had changed his mind.
"Family obligations" was all his office would say, refusing to publicly elaborate in a decision that, times being what they are, unleashed a barrage of conspiracy theories. Was the governor having a bad reaction to the Covid-19 booster shot he had just gotten? Were any of his children — he has four ages 12 and under — infected again with the coronavirus? No and no, Capitol sources said.
Allies of the governor noted that most parents would understand why a couple with four small children might not want to take an extended trip to Glasgow over Halloween. California environmentalists also suggested that he might not be so wrong to skip the annual climate conference, which many of them view as a jet-fuel-wasting spectacle.
Okay, that is a fair point: If given the choice between a "U.N. climate change summit" and going trick-or-treating with your kids, most sane parents would choose the latter.
But it's not all that clear that Gavin Newsom is sane. So that doesn't really clear anything up.
Surely we'll know sooner or later. In the meantime, even progressive journalists who might look the other way are starting to ask:
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