Dan Walters

Dan Walters

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 – 9:55 pm
Last Modified: Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 – 7:49 am

Jerry Brown began his State of the State address Wednesday by defending the annual ritual vis-à-vis critics who say it has become outmoded and irrelevant.

And then he proved the critics correct by delivering a 17-minute speech that was at best a pedestrian pitch for another term, at worst a clunky digest of his past oratory and in the main fell far short of the constitutional mandate to annually “report to the Legislature … on the condition of the state.”

While congratulating himself and other politicians for a “California comeback,” the speech offered nothing new, even recycling a previous quotation from the Bible about thrift.

Brown hinted at the no-news-is-good-news approach by opening his speech with, “I appreciate change but I also value continuity” – a far cry from his first stint as governor, when he positioned himself as an agent of sharp social, economic and political reform.

The unscripted remark – one of the very few – was more or less a retort to Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “introduction” of Brown that was Newsom’s own mini-State of the State, implying that fresh ideas are needed to deal with economic and political issues.

To read entire column, click here.