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Bubba Speaks: What an Endorsement Is and Is Not

Oct12

gavindashBarack Obama is ready to lead America and to restore American leadership in the world . . . Barack Obama is ready to be president of the United States.”

“It makes a difference who the governor is. It makes a difference what the policies are. And I am telling you, Terry McAuliffe was made for this moment in history.”

“This guy gets up every day and says, ‘What good can I do today?’ We need people like John (Garamendi) in Washington.”

That’s Bill Clinton making what you might call solid, sure-fire, unmistakable statements of support for a candidate. Compared to this:

“San Francisco may be the greenest city in America and it’s because of his leadership.’’

“May be?” “May be?” “And even if Clinton – who we all know has a problem with the word “is” – had said “is,” it still would have been the lamest endorsement we’ve ever heard, given that he didn’t even mention (ssssh) Gavin Newsom’s name in the sentence. “His” leadership, indeed.

Clinton’s pat on the back for Newsom last week decidedly was NOT a “formal” endorsement, as at least one analyst mysteriously reported. To our Calbuzz ears, it sounded more like an obligatory stop on the Hillary Clinton Payback Tour, given the Prince’s 2008 backing for the Hill. Which leaves open the opportunity for Clinton to actually say something like: “Hey, this ole boy Gavin Newsom would make a good gubner for y’all.” Or something that actually has a declarative sentence in it.

Right now, we can see the slogans inspired by Clinton, just ready to leap onto a bumper sticker near you:

Gavin Newsom: Maybe a Great Leader
Gavin Newsom: He’s Not Jerry Brown
Gavin Newsom: He’s Got Hair
Gavin Newsom: He’ll Take Out Your Recycling.
Gavin Newsom : In the Age of Twitter, He’s a Real Twit

newsomlogoTo hell with the TV ads, what about the t-shirts? When you’re 20 points and $6 million behind your front-running rival, there are few more crucial, higher priorities than getting…the right logo for your campaign materials, right?

Uh, no. But don’t tell Prince Gavin, who’s posted six logo design options for his  followers to vote on, and probably is monitoring moment-by-moment changes in the standings on Twitter right now. Sheesh.

robbins

Paging Neil Kinnock: Thanks to the web, cell phone cameras and 24/7 cable news, politicians from Alberta to Australia have been exposed in recent years for pinching and plagiarizing phrases, sentences and, in some cases (see Biden, J.) whole paragraphs and biographical episodes from the speeches of fellow travelers in the vote grubbing trade. Usually it’s a bit of soaring language – Ronald Reagan’s famous “tear down that wall” admonition to Mikhail Gorbachev was presaged by former Speaker Jim Wright – or a nifty rhetorical device – Barack Obama’s appropriation last year of Duval Patrick’s “just words” refrain neatly countered Hillary’s charge that all he could do was make speeches – that makes the risk of getting busted for it worth trying.

Now comes Prince Gavin, who appears to have dropped the bar of plagiarism to a new low, by reprising self-help guru Tony Robbins during the speech Newsom delivered at Bill Clinton’s side this week, as disclosed  by The Snitch blog over at SF Weekly.

“‘I’ve always believed we’re nothing but a mirror of our consistent thoughts,’” Newsom says, only 24 years late for the senior quotes page of his high school yearbook. We’re not sure what Newsom means by this and we know we don’t much care — but it is an interesting thing to say. And, surely enough, it’s not Newsom’s quote.

‘Life is nothingkermit but a mirror of your consistent thoughts‘” turns out to be a bit of wisdom first uttered by famed, 6-foot-8 motivational speaker and infomercial king Tony Robbins — of whom Newsom is quite an aficionado. Newsom’s cribbing of Robbins’ quote is not attributed at any point in the speech.

Next up: Gavin rips off Kermit the Frog:

“It’s not easy being green,” the San Francisco Mayor told a wildly cheering crowd of environmentalists.


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