As Gavin Newsom celebrates his first 100 days as governor, the results are underwhelming at best.
It's been a hundred days marked by big talk and little action, flip-flops and missteps, and little attention paid to the myriad problems facing Californians.
Who could forget Gavin Newsom's first misstep, when he blamed reporters for confusing his comments about his plans to effectively kill high-speed rail, even though they reported exactly what he said? It wasn't his first run in with reporters. Or his second. It wasn't even his first flip-flop on high-speed rail. And then after all that he didn't even change much about the program. It's hard to keep up with Gavin!
How about when he decided to end the death penalty, something voters elected to keep in place as recently as 2016, siding with heinous murderers over voters and victims? Not only was he at odds with voters and victims, but Governor Gavin Newsom was also at odds with candidate Gavin Newsom, since he campaigned on upholding the will of the voters in 2016 and in 2017.
Like the high-speed rail debacle, he pretended he wasn't flip-flopping, even though his comments are easily Googleable. Oh well, that's just Gavin being Gavin.
And then there was his trip to El Salvador, where he sought photo ops and national attention in Central America instead of focusing on the problems of California, even as the DMV had its biggest meltdown yet.
There isn't much for Gavin Newsom to brag about since being sworn in, but that hasn't stopped him from trying.
What does he think his biggest accomplishment is in his first 100 days?
"One is California is the most un-Trump state and the fact that we're now in 48 lawsuits with the Trump administration," Newsom told Capital Public Radio.
In other words, his biggest accomplishment, as he sees it, is picking political fights with the federal government. But if that's his biggest accomplishment, then his biggest failure is not addressing the growing and persistent list of issues facing Californians:
- Violent crime increase of approximately 18 percent since 2014
- 7.5 million Californians living in poverty
- 25 percent of the nation’s homeless living in California
- California has seen the largest increase in homelessness in the country since 2016
- An oppressive cost of living
- An opioid epidemic
- A lack of access to potable drinking water in communities like Porterville, even as the state sits on a $21.4 billion surplus
- Crumbling infrastructure
- Inadequate water storage
- A K-12 education system in desperate need of improvement
- A sprawling government that has zero oversight and can't deliver services in a timely and efficient manner (like the DMV or the High-Speed Rail Authority)
- A looming pension crisis
Since being sworn in a few months ago, Gavin Newsom has done little but raise his national profile and contradict himself. It's hard to consider his first 100 days as anything but a failure. At some point, he has to stop seeking headlines and start serving the people he was elected to represent.