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Bill Clinton, Gavin Newsom in L.A. Today

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As announced earlier, Gavin Newsom's gubernatorial campaign has been endorsed by former President Bill Clinton, who will be at the San Francisco Mayor's side today at two events in Los Angeles.

"Two weeks ago you were hearing whispers about whether Newsom might run for a down-ticket office instead," said Dan Schnur, director of USC's Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, according to the Daily News. "You're not hearing those whispers any more... Normally this is the type of endorsement you want to save closer to the primary, but Newsom has needed to do something dramatic to let people know he intends to seriously contest this nomination. There's no better way to send that signal than this."

Democratic opponent Jerry Brown, who filed exploratory papers last week, has already gained endorsements from a Hollywood mega trio: Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. He has also raised a significantly larger amount of money than Newsom.

Nonetheless, Schnur says Clinton's endorsement gives Newsom "a huge shot of credibility." Save for Barack Obama, "'there's no more valuable endorsement in Democratic politics than Bill Clinton."