December 10, 2023

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.