As students in Political Science 179 filed into Wheeler Auditorium Tuesday afternoon, the air was abuzz with speculation about the day’s “surprise” guest speaker, who they’d been told they wouldn’t want to miss. They scanned the room, their straining eyes finally coming to a dead stop upon a familiarly well-coiffed, well-dressed, well–well, everything‘d person.

Spotted: Mayor Gavin Newsom, causing a hot fuss on campus … again. That’s right–just days after the prospect of catching a glimpse of his Christian Bale-like countenance drew a huge crowd to Upper Sproul Plaza, the ever-sexy civil rights champion was back in front of a ready and willing Berkeley audience, driving his message home.

Lucky lecture attendees were treated to a heaping helping of charisma, as the hottest mayor this side of anywhere played a significantly more left-leaning kind of maverick. Newsom started out by sharing a bit of his life’s story, which segued into his views on politics (authenticity is the key), which segued into a convincing argument against Proposition 8. He then sauntered suavely down the aisles, answering questions, “pwn”-ing nay-sayers and reducing on-lookers (OK, us included) to pathetic sighing heaps with every step.

We’ll admit that parts of the mayor’s speech would have bordered on self-aggrandizement, if only he weren’t so damn charming. He might have talked extensively about the awesome things he’s done, but the fact that he wasn’t lying and he threw in more than a few genuinely self-deprecating jokes made it all OK. Not to mention, most of the talk was still devoted to a vehement and heart-felt attack on Proposition 8, which we’d wager (based on applause levels) almost everyone in the audience totally agreed with.

Whatever the audience thought of his politics, one thing was for certain–the man’s got sex appeal. And huge political potential. Do we sense a Governor Newsom in California’s future?

Image Source: Tim Maloney, Daily Cal
Political Science 179 [UC Berkeley Webcasts]
Students Rally Against Prop. 8 [Daily Cal]


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