Once you’ve bred, you’re old news. There’s suddenly a little version of you that hogs all the attention going – they’re smaller and cuter, and any impressive achievements you manage are overshadowed by them just prancing around being adorable.
The new governor of California, Gavin Newsom, experienced this on the world stage this week, when his two-year-old son, Dutch, wandered into his swearing-in ceremony – and ended up stealing the show completely.
Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco, ran on an anti-Trump platform, promising to use his governorship to offer “an alternative to the corruption and incompetence in the White House”. He was an early supporter of same-sex marriage and has campaigned for immigrant rights, universal health care, gun control, the repeal of the death penalty and the legalisation of cannabis.
All in all, he seems like a pretty cool guy, as evidenced by his unflappable ad-libs as his two-year-old ran riot on stage.
“We Californians know how much a house matters… and children” he said, sweeping Dutch into his arms to laughter and applause. And after a later attempt to keep the kid behind the lecture failed, he riffed: “We will support parents – they need support, trust me!”
Dutch – who, interestingly, shares his name with the ‘Predator’ character played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, himself a former governor of California – doubled down on his presence on stage by running away from both his mother and brother when they tried to intervene, leading to wild applause from the crowd as he stretched out his time in the spotlight even further.
His mother is filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who made the excellent documentaries ‘Miss Representation’ and ‘The Mask You Live In’, looking at representation of women in media and toxic masculinity respectively.
The Newsoms are thought to have their eyes on national politics after Gavin’s gubernatorial term, and there’s certainly a pretty big space for an interesting, talented, passionate, progressive couple in national US politics right now.
Think of the biggest figure in current US politics – the dude who recently queried a 7-year-old’s belief in Santa Claus – and you either think of that picture where he’s shouting at a child on his lawn, or the awkward photos with his youngest son that look like he learned to hug from WikiHow. A dad effortlessly scooping his son into his arms, kissing him and letting himself be upstaged for a few minutes, allowing his kid to be a kid, could really go places.