Former Dem Governor Stiffens When Asked About Kamala Harris in Interview

Former Dem Governor Stiffens When Asked About Kamala Harris in Interview

For 16 years, Jerry Brown was governor of California. He was attorney general of the state between his two stints running it. He was also a two-time Democratic presidential candidate, one who scored a surprisingly decent finish in the 1992 primaries, coming in second in delegates behind Bill Clinton.

Thus, the man obviously knows quite a bit about Golden State politics.

There’s one subject involving a California colleague that he surprisingly wanted to stay mum on in a recent interview, however: the state of Vice President Kamala Harris’ tenure.

This is kind of surprising, given that Harris is the most powerful Democrat in the state’s history. (One Republican president — Richard Nixon — was born and bred there. While he was born in Illinois, former President Ronald Reagan’s political career was entirely associated with California and the White House, too.)

The moment came during an NBC News interview published Monday with two former California governors known to “buck their own parties”: Brown and Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Brown, for all of his many, many failings as a social liberal who earned himself the well-deserved moniker “Governor Moonbeam,” managed to earn a reputation as a budget hawk, somehow equally well-deserved, given his party affiliation.

Schwarzenegger, ostensibly a conservative, was a huge pusher of anti-climate-change initiatives and other lefty agenda items, including the overblown wonders of high-speed rail and similar nonsense.

During the interview, Brown was complimentary of President Joe Biden, implying he was the party’s best bet to defeat former President Donald Trump should the latter be the Republican presidential contender.

“I would say [Biden is] the man of the hour. He’s there,” Brown said.

“I don’t have any great political strategy here of the Democrats,” he added. “It’s very challenging.”

A bit too challenging, apparently, when it comes to the veep.

Here’s what happened next, per NBC’s account: “Asked his view of Vice President Kamala Harris, who got her start in California politics, Brown stiffened a bit.”

“The garrulous ex-governor who freely opined on U.S.-Chinese relations, global threats and even Gregorian chants (keep reading) had nothing at all to share about a fellow Californian who is next in the line of presidential succession,” the report said.

Or, his exact words: “I do not have a thought on that topic.” Which sounds cold enough that even ChatGPT might find it a tad impersonal.

Perhaps it’s because Brown has been seen as being close — well, as close as Jerry Brown gets to oleaginous political weirdos from California or elsewhere, anyway — with Democratic Golden State Gov. Gavin Newsom, widely seen as Harris’ main challenge in the 2028 Democratic primaries, no matter what happens this time around.

“Brown and Newsom are members of a political fraternity that dominated their shared hometown of San Francisco for much of the 20th century,” the Los Angeles Times noted during the transition of power in the state capital of Sacramento from Brown to Newsom in 2019.

“Former Gov. Pat Brown, the current governor’s late father, was elected that city’s district attorney in 1943 after a campaign financed by three friends, including William A. Newsom II, the governor-elect’s grandfather and son of a prominent builder and bank investor,” the Times said.

“‘If they hadn’t agreed to put up $5,000 [each], I wouldn’t have been a candidate,’ Pat Brown said in a 1978 interview for UC Berkeley’s oral history project.”

Given that Harris and Newsom are not-so-secret enemies behind the scenes (understandable, given they both want the same office and they don’t hand out meaningful participation trophies in presidential elections), this could be it.

Or it could be the fact that Kamala is one of the few people less popular in the polls than Joe Biden is.

According to the RealClearPolitics polling aggregate as of Tuesday afternoon, 40.8 percent of respondents approve of the job Biden is doing compared with 55.9 percent disapproval — a spread of negative 15.1 points.

Harris, meanwhile, averages 38.5 percent approval vs. 59.0 percent disapproval — a negative 20.5 percent spread.

But why on Earth would this woman inspire anything but confidence?

When this is the guy who once ran the state you were originally from and arguably knows more about California politics than anything else, and he “stiffen[s]” when your name is mentioned and refuses to cosign your political chances, what does that say about you?

They may have called him “Governor Moonbeam” — but, at least he remains down to earth about Kamala’s chances. When even gaffing old Joe Biden holds more esteem in Jerry Brown’s eyes, perhaps it’s time to give it up.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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