In summary

Gov. Gavin Newsom has the capacity to self-correct by sticking to the fundamentals in the leadership playbook.

By Calvin Naito, Los Angeles

Calvin Naito is a communications professional based in Los Angeles.

Re “Governor delivers a State of Newsom address“; Commentary, March 15, 2021

Dan Walters raises some provocative questions about Gov. Gavin Newsom’s State of the State address at an empty Dodger Stadium. 

I choose to be more prescriptive in my analysis. Trying too hard in a game can lead to an unforced error, which Newsom’s stadium address was.

As an experienced press secretary and speechwriter, Newsom’s event made me cringe the moment I saw it. It was too Hollywood, overly choreographed, lacking in dignity and played right into the hands of the rising opposition.

But Newsom has the capacity to self-correct by sticking to the fundamentals in the leadership playbook. Tell us the truth (without over calculating and strategically withholding information, like the Employment Development Department woes).

Take responsibility, express empathy to the people affected by the issues, articulate what you are going to do to fix the problems, and then do it.

Just be yourself, natural, down home, and honest (like respected but less telegenic figures Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman), and you will be trusted – the key quality that ensures a public official’s longevity.

Be authentic and caring, and team California will not pull you out of the game.

We want you to succeed.  Your success will be our success – something life saving for all us Californians. 

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