For a man who doesn't seem to enjoy much of the pomp and formality that come along with being the chief executive of California, Gov. Jerry Brown has come up with a solution: cross off two of his big January events in a single gathering.
Brown's office on Monday announced that the governor will take the oath of office for an unprecedented fourth term on the morning of Monday, Jan. 5, in the chambers of the state Assembly -- and then deliver his annual State of the State address.
Two tasks, one event. Probably all over in time for lunch.
California's 39th governor (who, of course, was also its 34th governor) has largely taken a pass at any big fuss over his constitutionally required report to the Legislature "on the condition of the state." His predecessors often used the State of the State to roll out major policy pronouncements in early-evening events custom made for the 5 p.m. news on television stations. But Brown has made it a habit, in his return to Sacramento, of downsizing the speech's media footprint and, thus it seems, its importance.
The 2014 edition clocked in at just under 17 minutes, and was mostly notable for the playing cards that he distributed to legislators and guests featuring pithy fiscal prudence sayings with photos of his dog, Sutter. Previous State of the State speeches in his third term in office were even less memorable.