By MICHAEL R. BLOOD | AP Political Author
LOS ANGELES — Politicians have lengthy sought to mission vitality, youth and a standard contact by staging photograph shoots spotlighting their athletic prowess. California Gov. Gavin Newsom is the newest to search out out that plans for a assured soar shot can flip right into a torrent of on-line potshots.
On a visit to China, the two-term Democrat took a detour from his official conferences on local weather change to affix a bunch of Beijing schoolkids for a sport of basketball. Earlier than lengthy, he was on his bottom after unintentionally steamrolling a grade-school defender.
Nobody was injured, however Newsom joins an extended line of political figures whose makes an attempt at a sporty glamour shot didn’t work out as deliberate. In an identical scene, British politician Boris Johnson, then mayor of London, knocked down a 10-year-old boy whereas enjoying a pleasant sport of rugby on a visit to Japan.
Invoice Clinton and Al Gore have been needled for photographs of them jogging in comfortable short-shorts whereas in workplace. Within the 2004 presidential election, pictures of Democrat John Kerry windsurfing have been utilized in an advert mocking him as an unprincipled candidate who heads “whichever manner the wind blows.” George W. Bush’s penchant for mountain biking often ended up with him on the bottom, together with when he collided with a police officer on a visit to Scotland that left the officer with a bruised ankle and the president scraped up.
Video circulating on-line reveals Newsom carrying slacks, an open-collared shirt and costume footwear whereas towering over schoolchildren on the courtroom. The governor playfully twirls a basketball on a fingertip, then executes a spin transfer as he heads towards the basket.
When a boy in entrance of him seems to achieve for the ball, Newsom seemingly doesn’t see a second scholar on his left. The governor loses his stability. They collide and go to the bottom collectively, however each come up smiling and the governor offers the boy just a few again pats.
“I obtained you,” the governor may be heard telling the boy, as he offers him a hug.
The snarky reception on-line was predictable.
“Flagrant foul,” Fox Information tweeted. “Newsom destroys child throughout basketball sport in China,” celeb web site TMZ tweeted. Different on-line feedback ranged from “I can’t cease watching” to a submit calling the collision a “diplomatic victory for America.”
Newsom’s tumble offered a lighthearted — if embarrassing — second on a visit that included a shock assembly with chief Xi Jinping and was full of heat phrases not seen in years within the strained China-U.S. relationship.
It appeared that his basketball stumble offered the broadest publicity he acquired on his go to.
Newsom was an athletic standout in his scholar days. He performed basketball and baseball in highschool and attended Santa Clara College on a partial baseball scholarship. An damage ended his enjoying profession.
Newsom jokingly instructed the Los Angeles Fox Information affiliate that he “wanted to work” on his stability.