California Democrats, gathered for their annual convention in Sacramento this weekend, are expected to celebrate their victories -- holding every statewide elected office, winning super majorities in both houses of the Legislature in November and passing a tax increase to avoid funding cuts to schools.
“California Democrats put it all on the line and came up aces in 2012,” said John Burton, chairman of the state party. “Victories of this magnitude are rare in politics so there’s a lot to be thankful for. But we’re not done yet and in fact, Democrats are just getting started.”
But three of the most notable players are absent from the festivities -- Gov. Jerry Brown is in China on a trade mission, Sen. Dianne Feinstein is hunkered down in Washington as the Senate prepares to debate gun control, one of her top priorities, and Sen. Barbara Boxer is spending the weekend with her family in Rancho Mirage.
Their absence offers a glimpse of the future. The trio have been in elected office for decades and are all in their 70s. They show few signs of slowing down, but with their absence, talk naturally turns to their potential successors, notably Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. Both are scheduled to address delegates on Saturday.