In today’s LA Times, I called John Chiang a nerd. It’s true!
“He’s just looks like a nerd, right?” said Brian Leubitz, founder of Calitics, a liberal blog.
But beneath the wonkish exterior, Chiang has displayed sharp political instincts that have made him a favorite of the politically potent labor unions that represent the state’s workforce and have contributed significantly to his campaigns. (LA Times)
To be honest, this was kind of a throwaway line in the interview. I was saying that he doesn’t initially strike you as the guy who would stand up to The Terminator. But in his own quiet, unassuming way, he is. My other quote is about how Chiang is now one of the few progressive leaders who has really impressed the base.
But Chiang, like Debra Bowen, has impressed through sheer merit. He really understands his role, and his job. And he leverages his power, when possible, to fight for progressive change. At the same time, he is just very capable. Take a look at one of the credit agency reports, and you’ll find them praising Chiang and his office for their excellent cash management during last year’s budget crisis. He probably saved us a small fortune by helping to maintain (as much as that is possible) our credit rating. I won’t go in to how much of the credit rating is complete BS, as we’ve mentioned that in the past. But at least the agencies recognize competence.
In the end, isn’t it competence that we should be favoring for our fiscal position. Somebody who understands the complexities of sound cash flow management, and the consequences of the Governor’s reckless actions. Prudence…it’s perhaps a quality that the Governor could get a real lesson from John Chiang.
Sure, if I wanted to blow up an alien vessel, I’d call Schwarzenegger. But stave off fiscal insolvency? Sacramento calls John Chiang.