Good morning, it’s Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, Election Day if you live in California. Not that long ago, Gavin Newsom was flying high. California’s chief executive had solid job approval ratings among voters, benefited from strong reviews nationally for handling the pandemic, and was one of a handful of Democratic governors not feuding with the Republican president in the White House.
In March 2020, President Trump had praised Newsom’ handling of the pandemic, and when the two met outside Sacramento last September, Newsom nudged Trump on climate change, but not in a way meant to provoke his ire.
Although Newsom liked to tell his own voters that California was the “most un-Trump state in America,” on that occasion he was trying to persuade, not antagonize. “We’ve known each other too long” for posturing, Newsom told the president before adding, “We come from a perspective, humbly, where we submit the science is in, and observed evidence is self-evident that climate change is real.”
For the most part, Trump listened respectfully. “We actually have a very good relationship,” he told reporters when talking about Newsom afterward. “Good man.”
But things change rapidly in American politics, as Susan Crabtree shows in her coverage this morning of the California recall campaign, which I’ll tout in a moment. Last night, President Biden pulled out all the stops while urging Californians to retain their embattled governor.
With that, I’d direct you to our front page, which aggregates, as it does each day, an array of columns and stories spanning the political spectrum. Today’s lineup includes Umair Irfan on climate doomsday scenarios (Vox); John Fund’s comparison between Canada’s election security and California’s (The Spectator); David Zweig on the evolving meaning of COVID statistics (The Atlantic); and Karol Markowicz on requiring children to mask up and social distance (New York Post). We also offer a complement of original material from RCP’s reporters and contributors, including the following:
* * *
Biden, Newsom Cast Larry Elder as “Trump Clone.” Susan Crabtree reports on the president’s appearance in support of the California governor as recall Election Day finally arrives.
Election Updates for the Week of Sept. 13. At RealClearPolicy, Todd Carney has this roundup.
Lawmakers Rip Blinken Over Green Card Holders Left Behind. Phil Wegmann recaps yesterday’s testy exchanges as the secretary of state testified about the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Admin Imports Potential Afghan Terrorists, Predators Into U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz asserts that lax (or nonexistent) vetting of refugees puts Americans at risk.
Biden Has Never Been Honest About the “Trump Vaccines.” Andy Puzder writes that some of the resistance to getting vaccinated stems from the president’s own statements during his candidacy.
Three Questions About the $3.5 Trillion Spending Plan. At RealClearPolicy, James Capretta assesses the assumptions that underlie the proposal.
Why Ethereum Will Overtake Bitcoin. At RealClearMarkets, Rick Amato weighs in on cryptocurrency developments.
The Other Back-to-School Story. At RealClearEducation, Bruno Manno considers changes that the COVID shutdowns spurred among parents looking for improved learning environments for their children.
Largest Union Surrender of the Civil War. At RealClearHistory, Francis Sempa revisits the battle that took place near Harpers Ferry this month in 1862.
* * *
Carl M. Cannon
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics