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Whatever Gavin Newsom is selling, I’ll take ten

posted by Jason Kottke   May 08, 2008

I’ll admit I don’t watch politicians speak that often, particularly in public. So maybe I’m being a little naive here, but San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom is nothing short of a magician up on the stage. He talked for 20 straight minutes (his would-be interviewer could only get in 2-3 questions during that time and Newsom pretty much ignored them and talked about whatever he pleased) and it felt both like 5 minutes and exhausting at the same time. By the time he’d finished what I would term a sermon, I wanted to sign up for whatever he was selling at a price no lower than my heart and soul. I haven’t non-sexually crushed this hard on a speaker since Robert Wright.

Ok, two particularly interesting things that broke my gaze long enough for me to scribble them down in my notebook.

1. Newsom talked about building filling stations for electric cars that relied on exchanging batteries instead of plugging in and waiting for your car to charge. You don’t need to own your particular battery.

2. In SF, he’s hoping to exchange the payroll tax for a carbon tax. In his words, tax a bad thing (carbon use) instead of taxing a good thing (jobs). That way, the incentives are in the right place…people aren’t penalized for working but are penalized for using excessive amounts of carbon.

Update: Oh, don’t get me wrong, I have no idea if Newsom was telling the truth or what…it’s just that it all sounded so good coming out of his mouth. Even when it sounded like bullshit I wanted to believe him. I felt so dirty and manipulated afterwards, but still wanted to believe. Like I said, love…what’s truth got to do with it?

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