Every burned town is tragic. But Newsom needs to lead with science, not sentiment, and that’s what he did on Twitter to get past the first-week hump of the new year.
“I am at work but will tweet from here,” he tweeted at approximately 6:30 p.m. The next morning, when he learned about the mass shooting in Isla Vista that would claim at least 7 and leave 11 injured and one dead, he tweeted, “My thoughts tonight are with everyone affected by this tragedy and with the brave first responder in Florida.”
Now it’s his turn to lead with science, not sentiment. There’s a lot to digest in that tweet — including the fact that he’s now up to 8,000 (!) followers, an encouraging sign for the man who was once a political oddball, a social media star and governor of the most populous state in the nation whose first two terms were interrupted by a series of near-death tragedies.
“We are here to have a discussion on a range of topics, and to have a conversation that makes everyone feel that they are heard,” he said in an interview, though he acknowledged that the mass shooting in Isla Vista was not an appropriate subject for a public hearing of an official body.
Newsom isn’t the first governor to respond to a tragedy in that way, but he does seem uniquely qualified to lead, now that he’s finally settled into the role of governor, and one who has a knack for talking to and communicating with the public in the most personal, direct way.
“I do have a strong sense of empathy and connectedness to many, many people, and that is why I’m able to connect with them better using my voice and my pen and my phone than anyone else, including the press,” he said.
There are a number of ways he can use his celebrity to address the tragedy in Isla Vista. He could call on the Legislature to hold a special session; he could call on state legislators to act on some of the proposals Gov. Jerry Brown promised to consider in this year’s