Speed Reads

checkmate

Why Gavin Newsom will likely have to wait for a White House bid

Even after he cruised to victory in California's recall election, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has suggested he's not thinking about a White House bid, though as Los Angeles Times columnist Mark Barabak points out, he hasn't explicitly said it'll never happen.

Still, Barabak argues there's one reason why you should probably take Newsom, whom he described as a "hot commodity" in the wake of the recall rout, at his word — for now, at least. That would be Vice President Kamala Harris, a fellow Californian who has come up through the political ranks alongside Newsom. Barabak paints them as occasional rivals who have also helped each other out when needed, and noted that Harris is considered the natural successor to President Biden, perhaps as soon as 2024 if the commander-in-chief doesn't seek a second term.

"As big as California is, there's not room enough for two top-tier White House hopefuls — especially when one is already the proverbial heart tick away from the presidency," Barabak writes

So for now, Barabak believes Newsom is "checkmated" by Harris, but he notes that "time is on his side" considering he'll be younger than Biden is now if he does take a shot at the Oval Office any time up to 2044. Read Barabak's full argument at the Los Angeles Times.