There are probably only two things you really need to know about the notion of Gov. Jerry Brown -- a man afflicted three times with nasty bouts of what's called "Potomac Fever" -- running for president in 2016.
First, that it's a great political parlor game; and second, that it's the kind of game he must love by always leaving the door ever so slightly open.
Brown did a reasonably good job of throwing cold water on the idea on Friday during the first of two days in Washington, D.C. The governor met with federal officials at the White House to talk about President Obama's hotly debated executive order on immigration. On Saturday, he will attend the annual white-tie-and-tails Gridiron Club dinner as a guest of the Washington Post.
And so perhaps fittingly, it was the newspaper's Friday morning story that got the ball rolling on whether he'd consider a 2016 presidential run -- 40 years after his first attempt, followed by failed effort No. 2 in 1980 and No. 3 in 1992.
Brown's message in the story: Hillary Clinton doesn't need a primary challenger. He repeated the assertion on Friday afternoon in a quick Q&A with the White House press corps.