Jeffrey Blehar writes for National Review Online about the latest public relations campaign from California’s governor.

Who among us has not enjoyed observing the perpetually grasping career of Gavin Newsom as he doggedly shucks and slicks his way up to the top of California’s greasy progressive pole? I’ll admit that I’m able to enjoy it more than some because I don’t have to live in California. (Keep in mind: I live in Chicago, Ill.) But Newsom is almost charmingly sleazy in his bearing and conduct, a true visual throwback to a dearly missed Verhoeven Hollywood ’80s style of sinister politician. …

… Newsom, with his telegenic bad-guy looks, is of course an easy guy to misunderstand. To give him his fair due, he got to where he is the honest way: by working hard to be born into an ultra-rich progressive family with deep ties to both the Pelosis and the Getty Oil fortune. At the very least, you have to respect the hustle. And hustling is exactly what Newsom has been doing every day since he gained an entrée into California politics. If you think the leap from San Francisco Parking Commissioner in 1996 to Board of Supervisors in 1998, mayor in 2003, lieutenant governor in 2010, and governor in 2018 reflects a man in a hurry, then you don’t even want to know what sorts of brutally ironic romantic wreckage he has also left in his wake.

The reason any of this matters is that Newsom, sitting boredly atop his perch as governor, is taking any interview he can and leaping with Pavlovian reflex at any national publicity stunt to elevate his Q-rating in the transparent hope that some act of God will take his own party’s incumbent president out of the running. The visible impatience he displays as he holds his breath and waits for Joe Biden to hurry up and die has now risen to comedic levels: Newsom was already inherently oleaginous, but he now outright exudes ambition the way other people sweatily expel toxins from their pores.