MoDo Grabs The Big Chair At NYT

Before Frank Rich’s laptop is even cold, New York Times Op-It Girl Maureen Dowd has slipped into the paper’s Week in Review Spotlight Column (see dead-tree edition for what they call in D.C. “the optics”):

Governor Brown Redux: The Iceman Melteth

Jerry Brown doesn’t know who Charlie Sheen is.

“Is he related to the other Sheen?” he asks.

Brown has a vague sense that there was a meltdown with a TV star. But the former Governor Moonbeam is now Governor Laser Beam; the only meltdown he cares about is California’s, with its $26.6 billion budget shortfall.

“There’s only one game in my life,” he tells me, as we split Southwest Airlines peanuts and a turkey and cheese sandwich in a hotel at the corner of Disneyland Drive and Magic Way, where he has come to address a police convention.

The rest is pretty much standowd-issue stuff – from the overwrought (“In the fantastic, monastic world of Jerry Brown, the talk veers toward Wittgenstein, the collapse of the Habsburg Empire and preventing the collapse of the American empire.”) to the underwhelming (“Once, he baked in existential estrangement, opportunistically tilting at authority figures — challenging the leaders of his party and bristling at the large shadow of his charming Irish Catholic dad, Pat Brown, California’s governor in the ’60s. He knows there were sins of arrogance.”)

More existential estrangement to come.

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