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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 02/20/2013

Gavin Newsom, America’s preeminent lieutenant governor, promotes his new book, ‘Citizenville’


California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom greets former Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis at Friday’s book party at the Jefferson Hotel. (B. Vartan Boyajian)
Pop quiz: Name the lieutenant governor of any state.

Stumped? Which is why the national profile of Gavin Newsom is so remarkable. At just 45 years old, California’s second-in-command has been in headlines for the past decade — and has no intention to fading into the background.

Newsom spent last weekend in Washington (on NPR’s Diane Rehm show, “Meet the Press” and at a Jefferson Hotel book party Friday night) promoting his first book, “Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government.”


The book cover for "Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government".
It’s all about technology and government and pragmatism and using all those cool tech toys for the greater good. “This is a policy book focused on what the principles of openness and transparency can mean to building trust again to governing institutions, elected officials and civil servants ” he explained.

He goes on like this for a while, sounding like Al Gore 2.0 — no surprise, given he just finished a gig on Current TV. (Democrat Newsom gives props to conservatives Eric Cantor and Darrell Issa for citizen outreach: “They’ve done some very interesting things.” )

He could, of course, have written a book about his two terms as mayor of San Francisco, where he championed same-sex marriage. He could have written about his two years as lieutenant governor — he likes it now, but says “it was a very difficult transition because I was hardwired as mayor . . . There's a reason my favorite show on TV is ‘Veep.’”

But, unlike most lieutenant governors, he’ll probably land a guest spot on the HBO show. Newsom looks more like an actor playing a politician (slicked-back hair, jacket, no tie, big smile) than an actual politician. What else? He’s angling to host another TV show and hinted that a deal may be in the works.

Running for anything else? “Besides running my mouth?” he said. President? “No! No. I’d love to be governor of California.”


Newsom and his actress wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
For the moment, there’s the book tour and a walk on the red carpet at the Academy Awards Sunday night: Actress/producer wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom is nominated for her documentary, “The Invisible War.”

And yes, of course he’ll tweet about it, citizens.

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By  |  05:00 AM ET, 02/20/2013

 
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