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Gavin Newsom's Multimedia Offensive

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, April 22 2009

The modern equivalent of coming by land, by air, and by sea? Announcing your bid for the California governor's mansion by near simultaneous postings to Twitter, to Facebook, and to YouTube. But San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom was sure to hit Twitter first -- thereby guaranteeing near universal media coverage of his announcement. (Guilty!) Even Twitter-lebrity Ashton Kutcher was compelled to comment on Newsom's tweeted news that "It's official- running for Gov of CA. Wanted you to be the first to know. Need your help." (Newsom added the instruction, "ReTweet.")

Newsom's communications director Nate Ballard kept track of the ripple effects of his candidates choice of communications medium on his own Twitter stream, posting a Twitpic of the very moment Newsom clicked send on his iPhone. Turns out that Newsom is a one-handed typer.

But where some might see novelty, the 41 year-old Newsom sees real meaning. He's running as the candidate of change, an embracer of the modern age -- a state-sized Obama. Here's what he told the AP:

There will be legitimate questions nationally -- is change an affectation of the personality of Barack Obama and is it exclusive to Washington, D.C. and the occupant of the White House? Or is that change, that generational mind-set, going to take shape across the rest of the nation, starting with the most populous state?

As of midday today, Newsom is enjoying 248,000 Twitter followers. One potential rival for the Democratic nomination, former governor Jerry Brown, has 53,000.

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