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Jerry Brown -- for president

January 14, 2013|By Paul Whitefield
  • Gov. Jerry Brown -- still presidential timber.
Gov. Jerry Brown -- still presidential timber. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)

Is it too soon to talk about the 2016 presidential election? Because I have the perfect candidate for the Democrats.

Jerry Brown.

That’s right. Our governor.

Forget that Gov. Moonbeam nonsense. He’s now the Sage of Sacramento.

OK, “perfect candidate” may be a bit strong. Brown does have one major, well, flaw (more on that later). But heck, no one’s perfect, especially these days.

Republicans are already crowing about the great job that Governors Chris Christie of New Jersey and Scott Walker of Wisconsin have done in their states, and touting them as presidential material.

But, to paraphrase UPS, look what Brown has done for California.

He’s balanced the budget, in part by getting a tax hike passed when many thought it couldn’t be done. He’s brought political savvy and maturity back to the governor’s office; it’s far less of a soap opera in Sacramento these days. He’s kept Democrats in the Legislature fairly happy, even though he hasn’t given them everything they’ve wanted. He’s worked with the Republicans there, even though he hasn’t really had to -- and especially won’t need to now, with a Democratic supermajority.

And don’t forget: He hasn’t gotten his housekeeper pregnant.  

In short, he’s done what he said he would do when he was elected. And these days, that’s practically Rooseveltian. (Plus, like FDR, Brown has a smart wife and a cute dog. Hey, it can't hurt!)

Which should make Brown the go-to guy for Democrats looking to keep the White House in 2016, right?

Well, there is that flaw. Brown is 74. He’ll be 75 in April. Ronald Reagan was the oldest man to be elected president, and he was 69 (almost 70).

But I say it’s time to end ageism in American politics. If Warren Buffett can be the Oracle of Omaha at 82, why can’t we have a president who’s a spry 79? 

Besides, Brown can always do what he did in California, and say he’s only in it for one term.

Heck, given what he’s done for California, one term should be plenty.

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