There could be no better Christmas present for bunches of Democratic politicians than an announcement from Gov. Jerry Brown that he will not seek a second straight term in office, fourth of his lifetime.
Already the longest-serving governor in California history, Brown will be 76 if he stands for reelection next year and 77 barely three months into his fourth term, if reelected. The question is whether he wants to do it.
He’s hinted he does, of course, talking occasionally about his wish to see through the budgetary reforms he instituted after being elected in 2010 and a desire for a lasting legacy of leaving the California economy in good shape.
He had quietly raised more than $12 million toward a putative reelection campaign by late October, with no discernible need to spend any of it during the primary election season, meaning he could use it all in the fall, in case a wealthy, self-funded Republican candidate emerges from the woodwork in the next few weeks. Just such a possibility has lately emerged, with former Goldman Sachs executive Neel Kashkari saying he may run...