Big Daddy

Big Daddy

Hey Big Daddy,
The other day, I was on my way to John Garamendi’s office and I just about tripped over a giant bear statue in front of the governor’s office. What in the heck is that?

— Bearly Walking

Dear Bearly,
Let’s forget for a moment that you were on your way to the Lieutenant Governor’s office. Let me guess: Hot deal involving the state lands commission? You needed some Basque Barbecuing pointers? Maybe you’re Abel Maldonado, and you’re anticipating being appointed to the office once John Garamendi goes off to Congress?

OK, OK, I’ll stop. For the record, the lieutenant governor will always be a running punchline in this office, as long as the post exists. It’s an institutional thing, like scratchy toilet paper or fluorescent lighting. Nothing personal. But I digress…

As for the bear, well, what can you say? And furthermore, what exactly do you expect me to say?

I do have a couple of working theories, since you asked. Perhaps the governor figured the Capitol needed a new mascot now that all of the Mountjoy clan is gone.  Maybe he wanted to have something that required more bronze polish that the governor does. Or perhaps he set up a secret Web cam in the hallway, so he could sit back and watch all of the untoward things some of our younger visitors to the Capitol have done to that no-longer-innocent little statue. I’d go into more detail, but this is a family publication.

As for me, I kind of like the bear. Couldn’t tell you why, but I do. Many of the lobbyists roaming the same halls are a much bigger nuisance than the statue. And you have to give the governor at least some points for trying, don’t you? Don’t you?

Put yourself in the man’s lifts for just a minute. What would you do if the company you managed was headed down the fiscal toilet, your latest plan to save the aforementioned company was on the verge of being overwhelmingly rejected by voting shareholders, and every time you looked in the mirror, you noticed yourself growing a bill and feathers? (like a duck, see? Lame duck? Get it?).

I know what you’d do: You’d run out and buy a big old bear statue to put in front of your office. Hey, Harry Truman  used to say if you wanted a friend in Washington, get a dog. To which Arnold Schwarzenegger might ad, if you want one in Sacramento, get yourself a giant bronze bear statue. Or something like that.

Look, you’re asking me to delve into the psyche of a guy that uses skin bronzer and frosts his hair, it’s above my pay grade. Like any other California voter, I’ve just about given up. And if the next fiscal year turns out to be anything like the current one, the bear is going to be about all that’s left of this governor’s legacy.

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