Posts Tagged: John. Burton
Love her or hate her, former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer was one of the most influential and impactful politicians in California history. As such, when we sat down with her to conduct an oral history interview, we knew we needed someone as iconic as her to ask the questions. So we were thrilled to have the estimable Carla Marinucci of Politico do the honors.
As Sala Burton lay dying in a hospital bed in 1987, she picked her successor to represent San Francisco in the U.S. House of Representatives. “I saw her gritting her teeth, you know, in pain,” her brother-in law, John Burton, recalled in an Open California oral history. “And she says… I want you, talking to us, to support Nancy for my seat.”
To say that John Burton is wrapped up in politics is a bit like saying the Pacific Ocean is a large body of water. Few California political figures can match his decades of back-and-forth between Washington and Sacramento. Burton was elected to the Assembly in 1965 and served there until 1974; then he served in the House from 1974 until 1983; then he was back in the Assembly from 1988 until 1996; then he was in the state Senate from 1996 until 2004, serving as Senate leader from 1998 until term limits forced him out.
From neighbors to family members to local coffee shop baristas, the number one question I’ve received since Nov. 8 is “How did that happen?” Donald Trump’s come-from-behind win shocked about everyone in the political world. Even his own political team. Even Hillary Clinton’s own political team.
The most difficult job in the Legislature is that of an Assembly rookie. Mastering Sacramento is learning curve is akin to scaling Mount Everest, where the summit is shrouded in a fog of policy and politics and the climb must begin even before one is sworn into office. It must be made with a minimum of missteps, and there are few veterans to help show the way.
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