“Aha! Human Events, am I going to get some tough questioning from the right?,” exclaimed the man with the buzz haircut and turtleneck sweater, as he pointed at this reporter’s press badge during the National Governors Association meeting in Washington.
He was easily the most recognizable and well-known of the fifty state chief executives gathered for their annual meeting this past weekend: Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown, Jr. The youngest governor of California when he won the first of his two consecutive terms in 1974, Brown is now its oldest (74) and in the oldest in the nation as he completes the first year of his third non-consecutive term.
Before Human Events could get out a question, Brown got in the first word by noting that “in my state of the state address, I talked about government—local government–that is closest to the people doing the important things. Your readers would like that—and you’d have something we agree on. We pointed out to Brown that Human Events and quite a few conservatives did agree with the three-time presidential candidate when he became the first national Democrat to come out in favor of the flat tax more than twenty years ago.
When Brown brought up his deep concern about the toll sequestration will take on his state’s Air National Guard and its rescue missions, we asked what he thought of Sen. Jim Inhofe’s (R-Okla.) plan to turn the details of where to cut in the armed forces to the five service chiefs.
“Senator Inhofe? I haven’t read his plan yet, but Inhofe is the one who is so skeptical about climate change. So perhaps I’m skeptical about his plan,” Brown said.
From reminiscences about an interview on school busing with Los Angeles conservative TV commentator Bruce Herschensohn (“heckuva tough interview,” Brown recalled) to his marriage to long-time girlfriend Anne Gust in 2005, Jerry Brown made quicksilver leaps from topic to topic.
It was noted that if he completes his third term in 2016, Brown will be the longest serving governor of the Golden State because he will have broken the record of Republican Earl Warren, governor from 1942-53.
“Earl Warren did not complete his third term because he resigned to become chief justice,” Brown said. “I will break his record, but I will resign from the governorship if I’m appointed chief justice.”
Will he run for an unprecedented fourth term in 2016?
“I haven’t decided, but I have many races left in me,” he said, “Please report that in Human Events. That will really get the conservative base in California worked up.”