National Republicans have had a dreadful two months, culminating in their humiliating surrender to President Obama on funding the Department of Homeland Security.  But now it is the turn of national Democrats to squirm, and that is over the strange affair of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails.

Democrats are hoping for a smooth 2016 transition from President Obama to the second President Clinton; in fact, never has a political party put so many eggs into one basket as the Democrats with Clinton.  But if something as small as Clinton’s use of a personal server for her e-mails as Secretary of State can set off a minor media frenzy, what if something really big happens and Hillary world begins to falter?  What would Democrats do for a presidential candidate? 

Thanks to Democratic electoral disasters in 2010 and 2014, there are not a lot of alternatives among the party’s governors and senators.  There is always Vice President Joe Biden, but despite his being in federal office for most of the past half century, he polls at exactly ten percent in the latest Quinnipiac presidential poll.

A Socialist, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), is wandering around New Hampshire, but he comes off like the crazy uncle you don’t want to sit next to at Christmas dinner.  Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley would like to run, but his choice to succeed him as governor of true blue Maryland lost in 2014, so he lacks credibility.  How about Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), daring of the party’s progressives?   Tell me the last successful national Democrat to come out of Massachusetts; calling President Mike Dukakis and President John Kerry.

But there is one Democrat who fits the bill: California Gov. Jerry Brown, who received more votes in his re-election in 2014 than any other Democrat in the nation.  Too old, you say.  Well, Winston Churchill returned as British Prime Minister in 1951, at the age of 77, a post he held until he was 81.  His contemporary, Konrad Adenauer, became German chancellor at the age of 73 and served until he was 87; and in 1953, grandfatherly war hero Dwight Eisenhower became the American president.  That looks like a golden age of great world leaders.

California has a budget surplus and its fiscal house seems to be in order.  GOP governors and presidential wanna-bes Chris Christie of New Jersey, Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana cannot say that.

California is all but a nation state running its own international climate change and trade policies.  Brown’s three ill-fated presidential campaigns are long forgotten.  He’s tanned, rested and ready.          If the sounds you hear are cracking eggs in the Hillary Clinton basket, get ready for a fourth Jerry Brown dance around the presidential maypole.

 Originally published in the Capitol Morning Report.