Op-ed: "Suicide pact" comment career suicide for Newsom

AP Photo/ Aaron Kehoe

Politicians often live and die by the words they say. A gaffe could be catestrophic. That’s true even if the words in question were uttered prior to them even considering running for office.


But when one’s in office, at least in days gone by, one misplaced remark could end it all.

Recently, California Gov. Gavin Newsom argued the Second Amendment was becoming a “suicide pact.”

To say that such a comment was taken poorly was to put it too lightly. However, Newsom is governor of California. It’s not likely to hurt him in his home state.

Yet one op-ed writer argues that it will kill his further ambitions.

Surrounded by these armed bodyguards, Newsom complained to O’Donnell about the Second Amendment, calling it “a suicide pact.”

Later the governor took to Twitter to call the National Rifle Association a “trash organization” and declare that he looks forward to the day the NRA is “obsolete.”

It was yet another French Laundry moment for the elitist California governor, who lives behind guarded gates and tells crime-weary state residents that their right to own a firearm must be limited a little more every year because criminals are still shooting people.

Last May, as the governor campaigned for re-election, he claimed to have “sub-zero interest” in running for president in 2024. Perhaps it’s true. Calling the Second Amendment “a suicide pact” certainly seems like a strange start to a national campaign.

During the 2000 presidential race, Vice President Al Gore took a strong stand in favor of gun control laws and went on to lose his home state of Tennessee, Bill Clinton’s home state of Arkansas and the election.

A recent study by the Rand Corporation may explain why that happened. The researchers estimated that in 2021, 51.6% of adults in Tennessee and 57.2% in Arkansas had guns in their home.

In California, it was just 28.3%.


Now, I like where the author, Susan Shelley, has her head at. However, I wouldn’t get too excited by the prospect of Newsom losing any chance at higher office.

President Joe Biden was well-known for his anti-gun stance prior to 2020. During the primary, he campaigned heavily on his gun control credentials, and yet he attained the presidency.

What we saw there was that his rhetoric didn’t hurt in the primary, then when it came to the general election when it might have, the media largely ignored the issue entirely. They simply pretended it didn’t happen.

If Newsom is the golden boy in 2024 or 2028, it would be ridiculous to assume this same media would allow his “suicide pact” comment to be a thing. Sure, we’d talk about it here. The same at our sister sites of Townhall, Hot Air, PJ Media, RedState, and Twitchy. Pretty much every non-leftist, non-mainstream (but I repeat myself) media outlet would.

But the actual mainstream media, the outlets that get the bulk of the attention from the American public, would ignore it. They’d allow Newsom to appear as if he’s agnostic on the issue of guns. They’d likely even try to provide cover, arguing he’s not really that anti-gun in the first place.


So yeah, I’m afraid I have to disagree. I don’t think his anti-gun rhetoric will hurt him if he runs for president. In fact, I suspect it’ll make him more attractive to the media’s kingmakers.

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