SACRAMENTO—California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D.) slammed Republican lawmakers in his inaugural address Friday in an event timed to mark the second anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
“The ugliness that overflowed on January 6, 2021, we know this, was in fact decades in the making,” Newsom said in his address, adding that the riots were “fomented by people who have a very different vision of America’s future.” The governor also made thinly veiled jabs at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R.), slamming states that “silence speech, fire teachers, kidnap migrants, subjugate women … and even demonize Mickey Mouse.”
Like DeSantis, Newsom is widely believed to have presidential ambitions, as evidenced by the national focus of his remarks. Newsom boasted that California is “giving shape to the future, molding the character of the nation.” The governor, who won his second election by a smaller margin than his first, spent hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars on television ads and billboards in Florida.
Newsom delivered his inaugural address after leading supporters on a “March for Democracy” through Sacramento. In a statement, Newsom’s inaugural committee wrote that the march was meant to “stand in peaceful contrast to the violent insurrection and assault on our democracy which occurred two years ago.”
Sacramento has one of the highest homelessness rates in California, which is home to a third of the nation’s homeless population. A gospel choir sang “Oh Happy Day” before Newsom took the stage for the swearing-in.
The sunny tone of the day’s events stand in marked contrast to the mood on the ground in California, where a majority of residents are “predicting bad times for the state economy” in the coming year. Half a million Californians have fled the state over the past two years, many of them citing high taxes and the lengthy coronavirus shutdown as their reason for leaving.
California’s “First Partner” Jennifer Siebel Newsom introduced her husband with a poem that mixed English and Spanish. An actress who had minor roles in Hollywood and now makes documentaries about “gender justice,” Siebel Newsom recently failed to convince a Los Angeles jury that she had been assaulted by Democratic mega-donor and convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein.
Defense attorneys noted during the trial that the Newsoms had accepted campaign donations from Weinstein before his fall from grace.