Capitol Alert

Maher: Ageism stifles Jerry Brown’s presidential chances

California Gov. Jerry Brown stands along the road that leads to his home on primary election day in Oakland, Calif., June 3, 2014.
California Gov. Jerry Brown stands along the road that leads to his home on primary election day in Oakland, Calif., June 3, 2014. NYT

With the 2016 presidential election drawing closer, lefty comedian Bill Maher flashed an image of Hillary Clinton and urged Democrats to turn to the “one person who has a record of competence and reform unmatched in their party” – California Gov. Jerry Brown.

Speaking Friday on his “Real Time” program on HBO, Maher credited Brown with turning around the state’s finances and pushing it to the front of the pack in job creation.

“If Jerry Brown was 55, that accomplishment in this giant state would have Democrats hyping him for president,” Maher said. “But they’re not. Because he’s 76, and ageism is the last acceptable prejudice in America.”

Brown, who has time and again ruled out another run for the White House, said after his reelection Tuesday to an unprecedented fourth term as governor that his exuberance for the job is high: “I jump out of bed and I want to go,” he said.

Brown campaign spokesman Dan Newman said he has no official reaction to offer from the governor, “but as a rapidly aging person myself, I found it witty and wise.”

Age, Maher said, is always relative, pointing to the cultural relevance of actress-activist Jane Fonda, the athletic prowess of distance-swimmer Diana Nyad and the global-financial reverence shown to business magnate Warren Buffett.

“You know what? You can have it all. But not governing,” Maher concluded. “Seventy-eight should not be too old to be president. Wisdom isn’t something you can just Google. And governing is where we need wisdom.”

Call Christopher Cadelago, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5538. Follow him on Twitter @ccadelago

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