Home > Uncategorized > Willie Brown: A Gifted Politician From The Good Old Days

Willie Brown: A Gifted Politician From The Good Old Days

Willie Brown is the shrewdest, most accomplished, most polished and by far the best dressed politician I have known in my long lifetime. He is now advancing in years but the wealth of political knowledge still flows as fluently as the water spills from the Oroville Dam in northern California down the California Aqueduct to the last farming and tiny town on the border with Mexico.

Forget Willie Brown was a Democrat. His three decades as member and Speaker of the California state Assembly and eight years as Mayor of San Francisco speaks volumes for his expertise in the world of politics, both the joy and pains of it.

Whenever Brown waxes philosophical, I listen. There is always something to learn from this man whether you consider him a political hatchet man, power broker or a kindly grandfather passing the knowledge of life onto his grandchildren.

He also is one crafty dude. Ask him a direct question; he answers it broadly. Ask a stupid question, he handles it directly. But he always seems to be the worst enemy you would want to meet in a closed, smoke-filled room playing “Let’s Make A Deal.” Willie always holds an ace as his down card.

With that in mind, I was rather dumbstruck by the softball questions the Los Angeles Times columnist Pat Morrison asked Willie Brown in this sitdown interview which the Times admits was highly edited. For what reasons, I shall never know. Oh, my, what an opportunity lost. Yet, the interview was revealing in that it revealed the true nature of the Willie Brown I have read about all these years. For those who never heard of Willie Brown, I suggest you read the interview for those little pearls of wisdom he does offer.

My lament is there are few if any Willie Browns from either political party in elected office these days. That is a pity and something to pine when all we see is a dysfunctional hall of polarized misfits unworthy of the public trust.

(Photos, top to bottom, courtesy of the oakbook.com, pbs.org, and sun-sentinel.com)

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