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Chuck Rogers and I will talk election aftermath, Trump negotiations with North Korea, the FBI report, the policy of family separation at the border, and whether attorney Cohen will flip. And any other news which might break before 7:00 tonight.


Gavin Newsom’s really cynical pumping up of Cox in order to avoid having to make promises to the left in a November runoff has left progressives with a demoralizing choice.  An op-ed piece in the SJ Mercury lays it out nicely.  I’ll vote for Newsom, but it’s like supporting Clinton again without the baggage.

— Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom — the top vote-getter with 33.4 percent — employed a cynical strategy that worked, perhaps too well for the long-term interests of Democrats. Newsom spent the last several weeks pumping up the leading Republican candidate, San Diego-area businessman John Cox, and largely ignoring his strongest Democratic opponent — former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. He clearly wanted to face Cox in the runoff of the top two vote-getters, and he had no desire to line up against Villaraigosa. At the start of this campaign, it appeared that Newsom — who looks like he stepped out of central casting for the role of California governor — would demonize President Trump. (In 2016, Californians voted for Hillary Clinton by a 2-to-1 margin.) But in the closing days of the primary, after the job numbers came in strong, Trump all but disappeared. Cox became the new boogeyman, portrayed as far out of step with the California mainstream. But Newsom’s game-playing appears to have come at a cost to the Democratic party, as many liberal voters stayed home. He’ll have to re-energize them in time for the November general election. It’s the peril that comes with being the majority party; your voters get bored, complacent and now cynical.

— Cox finished with 26.2 percent of the vote, a stronger showing than many observers expected. Some of Cox’s surge may have been due to Newsom’s Jedi mind games. But a better explanation is that, in a deep-blue state like California, Republicans were far more energized to vote than Democrats. The GOP circled the wagons around Cox like it was Custer’s Last Stand. You know how that turned out. Besides, Cox — an transplant from Illinois who has run for other offices but never won — has proved to be a malleable fellow. Apparently unencumbered by core principles, he’ll be whatever you want him to be. Right-wing Republicans – many of whom would dearly love to make California white again — wanted Cox to breathe fire on immigration, and so he did. They wanted him to declare war on an illusionary state “sanctuary” law that supposedly stops federal immigration agents from apprehending illegal immigrants – except on days that end in “y” — and he did that too. However, now that Cox is in the runoff, he will likely dart back to the middle and market himself as a moderate in the general election. That could make the conservatives who got him this far less than enthusiastic about carrying him the rest of the way.


June 2018