No. 82: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

82. George Skelton

Terse, wry and caustic by turns, LA Times columnist George Skelton glares at state political leaders with suspicion. He’s honed his stiletto over decades of watching the Sacramento drama unfold, and he isn’t shy with his opinions – a mandatory quality for a columnist. In this chaotic year of pandemic and protests, Skelton has had a lot to say. He broke with the governor over his decision to close beaches, saying “all Californians are endowed with certain unalienable rights. Among these are sun, surf and a day at the beach,” but lauded Newsom’s creation of a sprawling Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery: “this ‘blue ribbon’ commission is truly top of the line, loaded with brainy, practical Californians with extraordinary career successes…” He also offered advice to Joe Biden about VP selection, ranking congresswoman Karen Bass at the top of California’s potential contenders. “She’s calmly articulate, not bombastic. Liberal, but not fiery. Most important for any VP selection, Bass wouldn’t hurt the ticket. She’d probably help by adding a positive, reassuring force.” Many California pols heed his advice; we’ll see if Biden does too.

Updated Aug. 11, 2020

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