Monday, October 18, 2010

Not-So-Poor Poor Meg

More from John Judis's Jerry Brown profile. First, a modern-day iteration of Harry Truman's famous "Poor Ike -- it won't be a bit like the Army" comment about the circumscribed civilian elected executive:
Daniel Zingale, who was deputy chief of staff for former governor Gray Davis and a senior adviser to Schwarzenegger, draws a sharp contrast between the two candidates. Brown, he says, “should know what he is getting into. He has always been someone who liked to rock the boat, and I think that fits the time.” Whitman, he says, “does not have any idea what the job is like ... For a CEOer like her, who is used to telling the comptroller what to do, it would be a rude awakening to discover that the comptroller is going to be running against you in the next election. She doesn’t know how powerless she is going to be.”
And Judis's conclusion:

If Whitman’s money prevails, the legislature will quickly disabuse her of her plans, and if she is smart, she will decide, as Schwarzenegger finally did, to govern from the center and not the right. But if Brown can win in spite of his shoestring campaign, he won’t have to endure a similar initiation—he knows how Sacramento works. He stands a much better chance than Whitman of breaking the fiscal deadlock, and his cleanenergy program could restore California’s place as a vanguard of American industry. And if that’s not enough, there’s another consideration: A Brown administration, whatever its faults, would be infinitely more entertaining.

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