Strange political theater at that Gavin Newsom rally at a Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles yesterday. Seems that during the whole thing, in which Newsom gave a fiery speech blasting his opponent, Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, the guy over near the corner sipping coffee was—Abel Maldonado. From the L. A. Times:
At 11:30 a.m., Maldonado strolled into Cafe de Camacho, a coffee shop near Olvera Street where Newsom was set to speak alongside a group of Latino leaders, including civil rights activist Dolores Huerta and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
The cafe was packed with Newsom supporters holding blue campaign signs. They looked on in confusion as Lt. Gov. Maldonado, dressed in a gray suit and alligator boots, ordered a cup of coffee and settled down with several advisors at a table near the back of the restaurant.
They had just come from an event in Monterey Park, about eight miles away. When asked what they were doing at the coffee shop, a Maldonado aide said: "Just getting coffee. We were a little thirsty."
After speaking for 10 minutes, Newsom bade farewell to the crowd. His aides said he had to catch a plane to Sacramento to make an afternoon campaign event.
"Thank you again, all of you, for taking the time out of your busy day to be here," Newsom said.
Maldonado, seated in front of a "Newsom for California" campaign poster, smiled and took another sip of his coffee.
Photo: Brian van der Brug/ Los Angeles Times