If my experience is a guide, then conservatives and other Californians skeptical and/or incredulous about Jerry Brown’s re-election last month are engaging in some pretty fascinating conversations about the once and future governor. And while some believe his election does no bode well for the state, not all of us are certain his third term will be a disaster.
I’ve even wondered if his eccentricity could serve us well. He may well be beholden to no interest, least of all the all-powerful public employee unions.
But, our expectations run the gamut from one woman suggesting that he’s going to be a very good governor because he wants to erase the stain of his past tenure while yet another believes that he’ll hold the line on spending and stand up to interest groups because he knows this one’s for the history books and given his age (he’s 72), he has no intention to run for reelection in 2014. He won’t thus be concerned about burning bridges to the groups who helped him win this time around and whose support would be essential to securing the Democratic nomination and another term. His concern is not the minutiae of electoral policies, but leaving the stand on sound fiscal footing to secure his legacy.
What is striking is that while many conservatives, including yours truly, are skeptical that he will serve the state well, some, also including yours truly, wonder if maybe he’ll surprise us all. But, incredulous we may be that our fellow Californians elected him (despite his record), when we talk about the incoming Brown Administration, we’re not all forecasting doom. And we’re having some pretty fascinating conversations, speculating about how he’ll govern.
But, once he takes office, our conversations about his Administration may be less stimulating (as they must needs become less speculative) as we will find out which scenario plays out.
*NB: Title tweaked after initial publication.