SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — California Governor Gavin Newsom is in Washington D.C. receiving an award from the Education Commission of the States. He’s making it clear how different California is from many other states.

“What he’s really doing right now is trying to make a case for California, which he believes ardently really in,” says UC Berkeley Political Science Professor Henry Brady. “He’s also trying to make sure that he gets re-elected as governor. Admittedly, there’s very little chance he’s going to lose. But nevertheless, it’s worth trying to have a campaign out there, and he’s found a way to do it.”

Brady says Newsom is also taking advantage of that national stage.

“He also is positioning himself presumably for if Biden falters that Gavin Newsom’s name would be on people’s lips and he’d be a possibility,” Brady said.

“It’s smart strategy by Gavin right now to sort of put his name out there, and not say I’m running for president,” said KRON4 Political Analyst Michael Yaki.

Yaki agrees even if Newsom is not part of the 2024 campaign, there’s no downside being on the national stage now.

“Politics is about being in the right place at the right time, and take advantage of that opportunity,” Yaki said. “He’s doing everything he can to take advantage of that opportunity should it present itself without saying that he wants to do it.”

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What remains to be seen is if Newsom’s politics could get him elected.

“I think by and large on balance his positives outweigh his negatives, and if he’s somebody who can make a real run for the presidency,” Brady said.

But Yaki isn’t so sure.

“You have to win Arizona, you have to win Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and Michigans. Statess that are much closer to the center and center right,” Yaki said. “And, you know, the freedom that you have to be a candidate in California, you would never have that freedom in the states that you need right now when you do the electoral college math to become president of the United States.”