Analyzing Gov. Newsom’s Victory Speech

Analyzing Gov. Newsom’s Victory Speech
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a press conference in San Francisco on Oct. 6, 2022. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
John Seiler
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s speech after his Nov. 8 victory shows more about his presidential plans than about how he’ll govern California. His 57.3 percent of the vote this time was down from the 61.9 percent of his 2018 victory, even though his opponent this time, Republican Brian Dahle, was close to invisible to voters.

That 4.6 percentage-point drop shows not all Californians are happy with his governance. Still, a victory is a victory.

He began, “But I’m also deeply motivated and mindful of all the energy in this room, particularly the affirmative step the state of California took, the people of California took in unambiguous terms to assert our values and to go on the offense and to state overwhelmingly that we are a freedom state, that we support the rights of women and girls’ reproductive care.”

He’s talking about the passage of Proposition 1, which made abortion, already legal in California to the 25th week of a pregnancy, legal right up to the second before birth. It garnered 65 percent of the vote, although opponents spent next to nothing. Legalized abortion votes also won nationwide in Michigan, Kentucky, Vermont, and Montana, as well as Kansas earlier this year.

The votes came in response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June by the U.S. Supreme Court, throwing the matter back to the states.

But in Newsom’s speech, note how he also mentioned “girls’ reproductive care.” Meaning 12-year-olds could be given abortions, or contraceptives, without their parents’ consent. That might not play as well in the above-mentioned states as has abortion for adults.

Newsom continued, “But one thing that is settled here today is who we are as a state and what we hold dear in terms of our values. Freedom, belief in family.” What’s not settled is the freedom of parents to raise their children according their own religious or ethical beliefs.

He went on for several more minutes about Prop. 1, again emphasizing, “How proud I am that we affirmed clearly with conviction that we are a true freedom state, that we embrace the life of women and girls.”

“Girls” again. It will be interesting to see how the abortion issue plays out nationally over the next several years. This year was different because of the overturning of Roe. But the whole point was to turn it back to the states, which has happened. Making it a national issue, by Newsom, President Biden, and others, might not work as well in 2024.

He said, “We have governors that won their reelection tonight in other states that are banning books, that are banning speech, that are banning abortion. And here we are in California moving in a completely different direction. That’s a deep point of pride, and it’s with that passion that I bring to this second term a resolve to do more to advance that cause of freedom and fairness.”

In reality, the only “banning books” going on is by the high-tech companies in California, all closely connected to the national security bureaucracies, banning free speech online. What Newsom is talking about is Florida and other states banning pornography being shown to schoolchildren. If he wants to run on 8-year-olds being exposed to filth—in tax-funded classrooms—he might be in for some surprises.

On immigration, Newsom said, “These red states where there’s a cruelty talking down to people, bullying people, making them feel lesser. That cruelty is extended by flying migrants to an island and celebrating that as some fleeting victory at others’ expense.”

He’s attacking the stunt by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential presidential rival, flying illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. It’s the exclusive playground of the super-rich, like Newsom, who like to tell the rest of the country what to do on opening the borders and other matters. By all accounts the immigrants enjoyed the trip and were treated well, before the National Guard—made up of poor and middle-class troops—removed them from the sight of Newsom’s wealthy pals.
Given California is a sanctuary state, why didn’t Newsom invite them here?

He concluded with a long sentence, “As we turn the page on this campaign, I hope we turn the page on this polarization in our national discourse, once the dust settles with all of these national elections, we can all start to reconcile those differences and all start to focus on these universal values, this journey for recognition, this dignity deficit that some have described, this moment where people don’t feel they’re being seen and don’t feel they’re being heard.”

If anything, Tuesday’s election showed the opposite: the national divisions are bigger and deeper than ever. On the abortion issue he hopes to run with into the Oval Office, Florida, Texas, and other states are going in the opposite direction of California and making it almost completely illegal. If Newsom and other progressives left it at that, with each state deciding the issue, it would become less important.

But Newsom and the others—such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, re-elected governors Kathy Hochul of New York and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan—won’t leave it alone. Abortion always is going to be nationally divisive because they want it so.

Newsom’s final words, “We all have a responsibility to do a little bit more to meet people where they are and to dig a little deeper in terms of building other people up. And that’s my commitment to the people of the state of California this evening with the spirit of my family beside me looking at this larger family, California, where the future we say proudly happens first. Thank you very much, California.”

But the future is California lost one seat in the House of Representatives after the 2020 U.S. Census and probably will lose one or two more in 2030. And in 2020, Florida gained one seat and Texas, two.

Meanwhile, Newsom will be busy with California’s problems. Twitter has slashed its workforce and, just a guess by me, might move to Texas to be with new owner Elon Musk’s other companies. Facebook/Meta this week fired 11,000 workers after its stock dropped 75 percent in the past 15 months.
The billions in tax dollars those workers paid into the California treasury, generating massive surpluses, will be gone. The housing market also is tanking, removing all that capital-gains tax revenue.

For Gov. Gavin Newsom, the “future” is going to be a lot different from what he expects.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
John Seiler is a veteran California opinion writer. Mr. Seiler has written editorials for The Orange County Register for almost 30 years. He is a U.S. Army veteran and former press secretary for California state Sen. John Moorlach. He blogs at and his email is