Digging up the last dirt from Democratic National Convention 

Gov. Jerry Brown said, “I’m fired up and ready to go!” in response to Candy Crowley’s question as to whether he will run for re-election in 2014.

Just days before, at the Democratic National Convention, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom had told a reporter that he plans to run for governor in 2014 if Brown does not. The sheer stupidity of Newsom’s statement — because no matter how benign the intent, announcing that you want your boss’s job changes the dynamics of the relationship for the worse — was only more obvious in the context of the convention, where President Barack Obama’s successor was on everyone’s mind but Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dutifully (and dubiously) denied designs on the position.

Newsom was an early Hillary Clinton supporter in 2008, so he didn’t have a role at this convention. But unlike Mayor Ed Lee, Newsom didn’t even have a little reception. (Fun fact: this was Lee’s second convention; his first was in 1984, when the affair was held in San Francisco and Lee was a Jesse Jackson delegate.)

Poolside at The Blake Hotel where the California delegation was staying, Newsom’s junior varsity move was only the second-most popular subject. The real issue of the day was the hotel itself, which apparently was a disaster. I didn’t stay there, and from the lobby it looked adorable and quirky like standard boutique digs, but as one delegate described it, “It’s like an old pair of running shoes in a new shoe box. As soon as you open the cabinet or something … just … yech.”

On the subject of shoes, Manolo Blahnik-lover, state attorney general and likely California gubernatorial candidate Kamala Harris is rumored to have walked in, looked around the room and walked out of the hotel entirely, opting to stay elsewhere.

Even the nicest folks had complaints about mold, ants and stuck elevators. (Later, Blake Hotel guest MC Hammer told me that they should “stop whining and take the stairs.”)

As the night wore on, delegates began making up lyrics to “Hotel California” like, “Green stuff on the ceiling, a machine with no ice, we are all just prisoners here, of our own bid price.”

Still, this was no excuse for the public petulance of recalled ex-Gov. Gray Davis, who had a meltdown worthy of Honey Boo Boo in front of several of us when he was not given a suite. “That’s not a suite! They say that’s a suite but I’m demanding a real suite!”

I know what you’re thinking, and I don’t know why he was there either.

Still, California delegates representing a truckload of electoral votes for Obama were walking pretty tall in Charlotte, N.C. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was the belle of the ball as chairman of the convention. He loaded up his two arena skyboxes with celebrities such as Will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas and actress Rosario Dawson. Then he brought in every California mayor at the convention, and in their weakened and starry-eyed state, he joked with them, wooed them and generally cultivated relationships with them that will be useful when he runs for governor of California.

In 2018, of course.

Because that’s how it’s done.

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Melissa Griffin

Melissa Griffin

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Friday, Nov 21, 2014

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