By Angela Hart
The Sacramento Bee
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s wife Jennifer has played a sizable role in his campaign. She’s been deployed as a campaign surrogate promoting multiple women’s issues.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, walked out of a catcall booth at the California Democratic Party convention this past February, appearing alarmed.
“It was intense,” Newsom said. “Horrifying.”
The art installation, aimed at mimicking women being taunted on the streets by men, sought to draw attention to sexual harassment and the objectification of women. Siebel Newsom said she understands the behavior, having spent much of her adult life working to empower women.
“It’s women being treated as objects for the male gaze,” she said in February. “We’re a culture that has dehumanized and devalued women and girls. What’s great is this is an opportunity for men to understand what’s been normalized in our culture so they can use their voices and stand up and speak out against it.”
Her advocacy, and commanding grasp of major issues affecting women, especially in the age of the #MeToo movement, could also be a major factor in helping Newsom overcome his political vulnerability stemming from a 2005 affair.
When he was in his first term as mayor of San Francisco, Newsom slept with a subordinate who was also the wife of his campaign adviser and friend, Alex Tourk.
For women, especially, who believe Newsom behaved inappropriately, Siebel Newsom has been his strongest advocate in signaling that a mistake in his past does not reflect who he is today.
She has long served as her husband’s fiercest proponent. Shortly after they started dating in 2006, she defended him from political attacks following the affair he had before the two met.