Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Walters: Trump, Newsom Share a Similar Problem
dan_walters
By Dan Walters, CalMatters Commentary
Published 5 years ago on
January 9, 2019

Share

Gov. Gavin Newsom punctuated his inaugural address this week with several jabs at President Donald Trump, referring at one point to “the corruption and incompetence in the White House.”


Opinion
Dan Walters
CALmatters Commentary

The New York Times revealed recently that Trump’s pledge to build “a big beautiful wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border to deter immigration was never a fully vetted proposal, but a throwaway line in his stump speech.
However, while neither man would admit it, they share a similar political problem. Having made extravagant promises to gain support from partisan bases, they now must deliver or somehow wriggle out of them.
The New York Times revealed recently that Trump’s pledge to build “a big beautiful wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border to deter immigration was never a fully vetted proposal, but a throwaway line in his stump speech.
When the wall promise galvanized voters in key industrial states, Trump was stuck with it. But with Congress balking, it led to a partial shutdown of the federal government.
In seeking the governorship last year, Newsom also made extravagant promises aimed at the ascendant Berniecrat wing of his Democratic Party. He told those on the left what they wanted to hear and on primary election night in June, promised “Guaranteed health care for all. A ‘Marshall Plan’ for affordable housing. A master plan for aging with dignity. A middle-class workforce strategy. A cradle-to-college promise for the next generation. An all-hands approach to ending child poverty.”
After winning the governorship in November, however, Newsom began to step back, cognizant that delivering on his promises would cost many tens of billions of dollars.

Newsom’s ‘Big Beautiful Wall’

While some of those promises might be feasible, “Guaranteed health care for all” is Newsom’s “big beautiful wall” – something that draws cheers from the faithful but would be virtually impossible to deliver.
Tellingly, during a pre-inaugural event on Sunday, Newsom said, “Anyone who suggests that you can create universal this or universal that, even if you wanted to in six months to a year, our capacity to deliver on that is limited, so we’re going to create the architecture, the framework, we’ll set the goals.”
Setting a goal is easy. You just say it, send out a press release or even write it into law. Reaching the goal is something else entirely.
Newsom kissed off universal health care in a few words during his 2,700-plus-word inaugural address, saying, “In our home (of California), every person should have access to quality, affordable health care,” while pledging, “we will never waver in our pursuit of guaranteed health care for all Californians.”
It’s doubtful that the fervent advocates of universal health care will be placated by such a vague statement or even his initial actions to extend Medi-Cal coverage to a few more undocumented immigrants and offer health insurance subsidies to middle-class families. The advocates, led by the California Nurses Association, want nothing short of universal, single-payer coverage.

Universal Health Care and Other Specific Promises

Nor will California political media forget about universal health care and the other specific promises that Newsom made last year, such as building 3.5 million new homes in six years.

Newsom talks about having “being audacious hairy goals,” but promising too much and reneging would make him appear flaky.
CALmatters and the Sacramento Bee have already documented those promises and will chart his progress on delivery. Politifact, which specializes in separating fact from political fiction, has set up a “Newsom-Meter” for that same purpose.
Newsom’s predecessor, Jerry Brown, stumbled badly in his first stint as governor 40 years ago by doing 180-degree flips of position. He was more cautious during his second governorship, making few specific promises, delivering on those he made and avoiding battles he thought he couldn’t win.
Newsom talks about having “being audacious hairy goals,” but promising too much and reneging would make him appear flaky. He could ask Brown about the corrosive effect of that image on one’s political career.
CALmatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters. For more stories by Dan Walters, go to calmatters.org/commentary.
[activecampaign form=19]

DON'T MISS

A Fresno Edition of Monopoly? That’s Capitalism at Work, Baby!

DON'T MISS

California Officials Sue Huntington Beach Over Voter ID Law Passed at Polls

DON'T MISS

Indiana Fever Receives No. 1 Overall Draft Pick Caitlin Clark

DON'T MISS

Which Fresno Restaurants Are Best? The Pros Picked These Places.

DON'T MISS

Trump’s Historic Hush-Money Trial Gets Underway; 1st Day Ends Without Any Jurors Being Picked

DON'T MISS

Fresno-Madera United Way Launches National Search for New CEO

DON'T MISS

Justice Thomas Misses Supreme Court Session Monday With No Explanation

DON'T MISS

‘Civil War’ Declares Victory at the Box Office, Toppling ‘Godzilla X Kong’

DON'T MISS

Why Tortillas Sold in California May Be Forced to Add a New Ingredient

DON'T MISS

Costco Tries Again at City Council for Big NW Fresno Move

UP NEXT

Biden’s Embrace of Trump’s Tariffs Could Spell Trouble for His Reelection: Fareed Zakaria

UP NEXT

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

UP NEXT

While California Politicians Skirmish Over Housing, the Shortage Keeps Growing

UP NEXT

As PG&E Bills Skyrocket, Will California Lawmakers Hold Anyone Accountable?

UP NEXT

Trustees Owe a Nationwide Superintendent Search to Fresno’s Children

UP NEXT

Taxes Are on the November Ballot in Monumental CA Showdown

UP NEXT

California Progressives Forced to Play Defense as State Faces Huge Budget Deficits

UP NEXT

CA Labor Priorities and Business ‘Job Killers’ on a Collision Course

UP NEXT

California Water Wars Continue Despite Now Healthy H20 Supply

UP NEXT

How the Saga of California’s Contentious Income-Based Utility Charge Began

Which Fresno Restaurants Are Best? The Pros Picked These Places.

5 hours ago

Trump’s Historic Hush-Money Trial Gets Underway; 1st Day Ends Without Any Jurors Being Picked

6 hours ago

Fresno-Madera United Way Launches National Search for New CEO

Local /

7 hours ago

Justice Thomas Misses Supreme Court Session Monday With No Explanation

7 hours ago

‘Civil War’ Declares Victory at the Box Office, Toppling ‘Godzilla X Kong’

7 hours ago

Why Tortillas Sold in California May Be Forced to Add a New Ingredient

8 hours ago

Costco Tries Again at City Council for Big NW Fresno Move

9 hours ago

Scheffler Turns the Masters Into Another Sunday Yawner With a Dominating Win

9 hours ago

Ethiopia’s Lemma Wins, Fresno’s Albertson 7th in Boston Marathon. Kenya’s Obiri Retains Women Title.

9 hours ago

Vegas, US Tour and More Signings: Wrexham Has Plenty of Fun and Work Ahead After Latest Promotion

9 hours ago

A Fresno Edition of Monopoly? That’s Capitalism at Work, Baby!

Alright, cats and kittens, straphang onto your beanies because I’m about to lay a news flash on you that’s so whimsically wild it coul...

4 hours ago

Fresno Monopoly Edition
4 hours ago

A Fresno Edition of Monopoly? That’s Capitalism at Work, Baby!

4 hours ago

California Officials Sue Huntington Beach Over Voter ID Law Passed at Polls

4 hours ago

Indiana Fever Receives No. 1 Overall Draft Pick Caitlin Clark

5 hours ago

Which Fresno Restaurants Are Best? The Pros Picked These Places.

6 hours ago

Trump’s Historic Hush-Money Trial Gets Underway; 1st Day Ends Without Any Jurors Being Picked

Local /
7 hours ago

Fresno-Madera United Way Launches National Search for New CEO

7 hours ago

Justice Thomas Misses Supreme Court Session Monday With No Explanation

7 hours ago

‘Civil War’ Declares Victory at the Box Office, Toppling ‘Godzilla X Kong’

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend