Today’s “Column One” front page feature in the LA Times takes up the ticklish topic of what it means to be California’s lieutenant governor and it reads like a what-might-have-been recollection of Gavin Newsom’s political career to-date. That’s starting with the lede: “For more than two years, Gavin Newsom has suffered the indignities of being the state’s second-in-command.” An excerpt from just below that unadorned zinger:
On a Monday this spring, he was escorted off the Senate floor.
A security officer had told the lieutenant governor that he couldn't sit in the same room as lawmakers when they debated policy because he was a member of the executive branch.
Outside, Newsom slumped on a wooden bench, his face that of a star pupil who'd been sent to the principal's office.
Just then, a woman stopped and asked Newsom — former San Francisco mayor, hero to the gay rights movement, gubernatorial contender — if he would pose for a picture with her son. Newsom put his arm around the boy and flashed a Hollywood smile.
"What's a lieutenant governor?" the boy asked.
Newsom kept his gaze on the camera.
"I ask myself that every day."