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Gavin Newsom Lets Out the Beast


Images can pack a lot of power and meaning.

If a lapel pin smaller than a Larry Ellison hors d'oeuvre can stir people up, how much more so a big, honking photograph covering a newspaper's entire front page.

Last week served up some pretty interesting images. Here are a few:

Gavin Newsom. The mayor.

Newsom took a deserved victory lap on gay marriage. Whatever the politics, taking risks is an admirable and rare quality. When they pan out, well, that's some sweet chocolate topping.

But he didn't just wave, smile big and bob his head like a crane. There was Gavin, (PDF) on the cover of The Examiner, arms outstretched, neck veins bulging, face twisted into a gladiatorial roar of fresh meat triumph.

Couples all around him were feeling the love, kissing and hugging and celebrating their newly re-sanctified marriages, happy to get to live the way they wanted.

But Gavin sniffed the air with those aquiline nostrils and found his inner killer cat. It was a great opportunity for a guy trying to run for office outside the sensitive, wormhole politics of San Francisco to get past that thin-lipped, moussed, executive seminar consultant persona and show the rest of the state (and the world) a ferocious-looking, feral, political jungle killer. Governor Newsom! King Newsom! Gnawing the leg bone of that LA wimp, Antonio Villaraigosa.

Like Arnold doing a deadlift. GGRRRARRRRGGGGHHHH!

(Arnold, the real master of all that, was actually in the Chronicle building the same day and mentioned old fights at drunken beerfests. Watch this space for the video.)

That was last week for Gavin. We'll see how it goes. Read More »