As acting governor, Gavin Newsom advised to sit tight 

click to enlarge With Gov. Jerry Brown in China, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is in charge. - GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO
  • Getty Images File Photo
  • With Gov. Jerry Brown in China, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is in charge.

Writing and promoting a book was just the latest diversion that has kept our erstwhile Mayor Gavin Newsom from his current day job. And now that he’s ostensibly sitting on the big chair while Gov. Jerry Brown ambles through China, government-watchers have a bit of advice for Newsom: Keep it up.

“The best thing he can do as acting governor is nothing,” Claremont McKenna College political scientist Jack Pitney told The Associated Press.

Considering Newsom’s aversion to Sacramento, his short-lived television show, his book and its resultant book tour — this is a mission he appears eminently qualified to fulfill.

Pitney’s advice, in fact, mirrors the suggestion made to Champ Kind in the movie “Anchorman”: “Take it easy, Champ. Why don’t you stop talking for a while? ... Yeah, sit the next couple plays out, if you know what I mean.”

One task Pitney predicted Newsom would excel at is one the people of California would rather he not be called upon to undertake: serving as a telegenic authority figure during a disaster.

Of course, that role didn’t do much to aid the political career of former Lt. Gov Abel Maldonado. He was the fellow in the awkward windbreaker depicted, in retrospect, in too many photos in front of the flaming wreckage of San Bruno. Accusations that Maldonado was milking the opportunity as a de facto campaign event didn’t help.

Maldonado couldn’t resist tweeting photos of himself in conversation with the president. Newsom bested him in the subsequent election.

Could Newsom — the man formerly known as Mayor Twitter — resist such a temptation? He did, after all, tweet out news of his wife’s delivery of the couple’s first child.

God willing, we don’t find out.

joe.eskenazi@sfweekly.com

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