Jerry Brown’s Re-Election Tease

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Can we stop the Jerry Brown nonsense before it begins?

During an appearance on CBS' Face the Nation this weekend, California's governor played the tease, suggesting he was still deciding whether to run for re-election. "I'm thinking about it," he said, adding "but I wouldn't rule it out."

Oh, please.

Is there any real doubt that Brown is running for re-election? Not that I can detect, at least among people old enough to know the full scope of his career.

Yes, Brown is 74 years old. Yes, being governor of California is misery right now, at least when it comes to making progress on anything that costs money.

 But Brown -- it says here -- is going to run if he's physically and mentally capable of it because he always run.

He's been running for office longer than your blogger has been alive. For community college board in 1969. For California Secretary of State in 1970. For governor in 1974 and 1978. For President in 1976, 1980, 1992. For U.S. Senate in 1982. Twice for mayor of Oakland. Once for attorney general. And for governor again in 2010.

With that record, a decision not to run would be a shock.

But that probably won't spare Californians the months and months of speculation about Brown's future, as the governor himself plays it coy.

A more interesting question, of course, is whether anyone will run against him. The Republicans don't appear to have a candidate. And it seems unlikely that a Democrat such as Gavin Newsom or Antonio Villaraigosa would challenge an incumbent governor of his own party.

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Lead Prop Zero blogger Joe Mathews is California editor at Zocalo Public Square, a fellow at Arizona State University’s Center for Social Cohesion, and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (University of California, 2010).

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