Don't call her first lady: Jennifer Siebel Newsom the California governor's first partner
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTVU) - Jennifer Siebel Newsom does not want to be called the first lady of California.
Instead, the 44-year-old Marin County native and filmmaker wants to be called first partner. There's even an unprecedented "first partner" tab on the California governor's webpage introducing her.
Her office didn't immediately respond on why and how she chose her new title. Though in the fall, she told Politico's Women Rule podcast that she didn't want to be "typecast as a trophy wife."
But on the official California state website, Siebel Newsom was perfectly clear in highlighting her own impressive background: That she graduated with honors from Stanford University and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, before working in Africa and Latin America, helping women entrepreneurs create their own socially and environmentally responsible businesses.
She then moved to Hollywood to pursue acting, writing, directing and producing, including the award-winning documentary film, “Miss Representation,” about the misrepresentation of women in the media and “The Mask You Live In,” exploring how U.S. culture’s narrow definition of masculinity is harming boys, men, and society at large.
In her fourth and final paragraph, Siebel Newsom wrote that she is married to the governor, Gavin Newsom, and is a proud mother to their four children: Montana, Hunter, Brooklynn, and Dutch, the latter who amused the audience on Monday when he clutched his pacifier and blankie on on stage during his dad's inaugural speech.
California's previous governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was right on board. He photobombed the first couple, congratulating them and referencing Siebel Newsom by her desired title. So did Rep. Nancy Pelosi's daughter, Christine Pelosi, who tweeted her big welcome, calling her first partner as well.
But with anything new, and particularly "California," there were questions, confusion and some criticism.
"Wtf is first partner?" someone asked on Twitter. "Oi vey," wrote someone else.
But like any great partner, Siebel Newsom deferred to her teammate, while also making clear she will be playing a role as a high-powered public servant.
"Today was joyous beyond measure, and it is the honor of a lifetime to serve the people of California," she tweeted.
Then she publicly told her husband how much she loved him, saying, "I'm so proud of the way you are using your courageous heart and brilliant mind to lead this great state."