By Ben Christopher
Preceded by a Baptist church band, a Mexican roots music quartet, and the recital by his wife of a bilingual poem by the former poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, Gavin Newsom was inaugurated on the western steps of the capitol building this morning, closing out the Brown era of California politics and pointing towards a new, more assertively progressive politics out of Sacramento.
In an inauguration speech, delivered to a crowd that featured former governors, Supreme Court justices and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Newsom (with occasional accompaniment from his two-year-old son), went long on soaring rhetoric and short on concrete policy detail—what the governor would no doubt call a “conversation starter” for his first term. He also described California as the national counterweight to the politics of Trump, framing his own election not just as a California event, but one with national and global significance.
But he did offer a few hints of what kind of leader he hopes to be and where his policy priorities lie. Here are a few highlights, with annotations: