May 9, 2017

IT ISN’T JUST CALIFORNIA: California’s Geriatric Liberal Leadership.

Jerry Brown, the nation’s oldest governor (he turned 79 last month), is serving a record fourth and final term as California’s chief executive.

Dianne Feinstein, the nation’s oldest U.S. senator (she turns 84 in June), first ran for San Francisco supervisor in 1970 – the same year Gov. Brown launched the first of what adds up to a dozen citywide, statewide and nationwide campaigns. Whether she seeks another term next year is a popular guessing game here.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, age 77, traces her California political ancestry to a House special election held 30 years ago. She succeeded Sala Burton, who won the seat following the death of her husband, the legendary gerrymanderer Phil Burton.

About the Burtons: Phil’s brother John, who turned 84 last December, is stepping down this month after an eight-year run as chairman of the California Democratic Party. It marks the end of six decades of Burtonian influence on state and local politics dating back President Eisenhower’s re-election in 1956.

The purpose of reciting these resumes isn’t to disparage anyone’s age. Rather, it’s to highlight California’s struggle to find a place in a Democratic Party that, come 2020, stands to benefit from a fresh face with fresh ideas.

The fresh faces will rise up their own. Fresh ideas are more difficult, and if the last decade or two of Democratic politics are anything to go by, not really wanted.

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