Biden’s California Visit Fuels Speculation: Is He Passing the Torch to Gavin Newsom?

Ringo Chiu /
Ringo Chiu /

President Joe Biden’s recent visit to California stirred a wave of speculation among reporters and political pundits alike as rumors swirled regarding his future in the 2024 race and the potential ascension of Governor Gavin Newsom to the national stage. During a press huddle, some brave soul dared to ask if Biden’s West Coast adventure was a sneaky “Plan B” in case his own presidential ambitions hit a snag. With a wink and a wisecrack, Biden deflected like a seasoned dodgeball player, essentially telling the report that maybe they should run for the Oval Office.

This exchange is not without context. Biden has been singing Newsom’s praises like a broken record, even suggesting that the guy could slide right into the Oval Office chair. Never mind the dumpster fire that is California’s exodus of both businesses and people, soaring crime rates, and the state becoming a magnet for undocumented migrants. Nope, Biden thinks Newsom’s doing just peachy.

In November, President Biden expressed his admiration for Gavin Newsom as a potential successor to the current 81-year-old occupant of a position. Biden suggested that Newsom “could have the job I’m looking for” during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

However, not everyone’s buying into the Newsom fan club. There are allegations that Governor Newsom has been engaging in surreptitious campaigning for the upcoming 2024 presidential election. Last year, he debated with former GOP presidential candidate Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida. Furthermore, there are rumors that Newsom has been quietly amassing a pool of donors behind closed doors, potentially giving him a significant advantage in the upcoming election.

According to Newsom, his jump onto the national and international stage is intended to create a nationwide image that will inspire the Democratic Party to adopt a more assertive approach. He has claimed that this will assist Joe Biden in securing a second term in the White House next year.

Public sentiment towards Newsom appears mixed. Recent polling data suggests a decline in Newsom’s approval ratings, with just 44 percent of respondents expressing favorable views. In a race against Trump, a recent Emerson College/The Hill survey showed only 32 percent of Californians support Governor Gavin Newsom, while 51 percent support former President Donald Trump, and 17 percent are undecided.

What does the man himself have to say about all this recent hoopla? Oh, it’s just the usual politician dance, claiming he’s not interested in the 2024 circus. However, his remarks were directed toward the idea of challenging Biden. But hey, he conveniently forgets to mention whether he’d jump in if Biden suddenly decided to hit the snooze button on his presidential ambitions.

The speculation surrounding Biden’s future is not limited to reporters. In the world of podcast punditry, Joe Rogan’s got his crystal ball out, predicting a Democratic puppet show where they swap out Biden for Newsom. Rogan is suggesting some behind-the-scenes maneuver to transition power within the party ranks. Rogan believes the Democrats are going to force Biden to step down. He believes they are setting Newsom up to take over. While such conjecture remains speculative, it underscores the intrigue surrounding Biden’s presidency and the broader dynamics within the Democratic Party.

Political analysts are closely scrutinizing President Biden’s recent trip to California, examining his actions and statements for clues about the future of American politics. This visit has become a focal point for broader questions about the trajectory of the 2024 presidential race, which remains unclear amidst swirling rumors and uncertainties. The implications of this race stretch far beyond party lines, and discussions about the future direction of the nation’s leadership have been ignited by Biden’s visit to California. It remains to be seen whether his trip signifies strategic planning or simply routine engagements.