Is Gavin Newsom Planning On Running For President?

California Governor Gavin Newsom became a household name across the country in 2021 when a recall election in the Golden State pit him against a slew of Republicans vying for the state's top government spot. Contenders included former Olympian and reality star Caitlyn Jenner and Larry Elder, a conservative talk show host who became the frontrunner to beat Newsom if the recall worked (via the Los Angeles Times).

As Americans learned on Sept. 15, 2021, most Californians wanted to keep Newsom as governor. He beat his opponents handily, with people voting no overwhelmingly, as the recall ballot asked the question of whether Newsom should be recalled or not. In the end, 61% of Californians voted no, according to NBC News, but the governor's popularity sparked the question of what Newsom might do next — with people specifically wondering if he'd ever run for president one day. Here's what he had to say about that.

Gavin Newsom isn't sure he wants to be a part of Washington, D.C.

After his success in September's California recall election, Governor Gavin Newsom was quickly asked if he planned to run for president in the future, and he gave a very clear no. "[Running for president has] 100 percent never been on my radar," Newsom told CBS News (via Newsweek). "It was never a childhood dream."

He added that Washington, D.C., might not be the right place for him and called it a "very challenging environment." Indeed, the current president, Joe Biden, is doing everything he can to get a social safety net deal passed through Congress with just Democratic votes, as of this writing. But he's had to compromise much of his agenda thanks to having no real majority in the Senate, with the vice president being the 51st vote. 

The current vice president might also be a reason that Newsom is nixing the idea of running for the commander-in-chief job himself.

Another Californian might run for president

The San Francisco Examiner analyzed the question of whether Gavin Newsom would run for president in 2024 or 2028, pointing out that his biggest obstacle might be another California politician who would likely be the next Democratic presidential nominee. Vice President Kamala Harris, who was a senator from California and the state's attorney general before going to Washington, would logically be the 2024 nominee if President Joe Biden chose not to run again. Or she could be the 2028 nominee if Biden ran again, won, and served two full terms.

"If a Californian is the Democratic nominee for president in either 2024 or 2028, it will be Kamala Harris," wrote San Francisco Examiner columnist Lincoln Mitchell. "For Newsom to take on his longtime political ally, who also happens to be the vice president of the United States, it would be an extremely risky strategy and more likely a big mistake."

Only time will tell how things will play out.