One of the most common motifs in California’s 2010 gubernatorial race is that the state is at a critical juncture. Unemployment, healthcare costs, taxes, crime rates and pollution are rising. Pensions, water supply, government services and job opportunities are not.
It’s imperative that we keep these issues in mind as we select the next California governor. The leader best suited to the current state of affairs will be one who is pragmatic, experienced and knows the system well enough to triage California’s problems and act accordingly.
Once these qualities are identified, the choice of California’s next governor is clear.
Jerry Brown’s 40 years of experience, several of them in the governor’s chair, give him an edge that Meg Whitman’s time running eBay does not afford her. Brown also has the advantage of a favorable relationship with California’s labor unions and what he describes as a “long and well-deserved reputation for being cheap,” both of which the next governor will need to pull the state out of its escalating debt.
Experience is not everything, however, and it is dangerously nearsighted to assume that a candidate possesses all the necessary criteria to govern successfully just because he has served in office before.
But Brown’s seasoned outlook and experience in office does not preclude him from being progressive; his early support for AB 32, California’s groundbreaking legislation to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, shows that he is quick to identify the most pressing issues emerging in today’s political climate, as does his clean energy jobs plan.
It bears repeating that running a state, especially one in California’s position, is not the same as running a business. Though Whitman touts her fresh perspective, radical thinking and sharp business sense, in the end, California needs wealth of knowledge more than it needs knowledge of wealth.
For that, the Daily Trojan endorses Jerry Brown as the most appropriate choice for governor.